The ReSTAGE Collaboration: defining optimal bleeding criteria for onset of early menopausal transition

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Age Distribution; Age Factors; Biological Markers; Female; Follicle Stimulating Hormone; *Health Status Indicators; Humans; Logistic Models; *Menopause, Premature; *Menstrual Cycle; *Menstruation; Middle Aged; Odds Ratio; *Ovulation; Perimenopause; Population Surveillance; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Prospective Studies; Reproducibility of Results; Time Factors; United States; Victoria; Women's Health


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


OBJECTIVE: Criteria for staging the menopausal transition are not established. This article evaluates five bleeding criteria for defining early transition and provides empirically based guidance regarding optimal criteria.

DESIGN/SETTING: Prospective menstrual calendar data from four population-based cohorts: TREMIN, Melbourne Women's Midlife Health Project (MWMHP), Seattle Midlife Women's Health Study (SMWHS), and Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) with annual serum FSH from MWMHP and SWAN.

PARTICIPANTS: 735 TREMIN, 279 SMWHS, 216 MWMHP, and 2270 SWAN women aged 35-57 at baseline who maintained menstrual calendars.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Age at and time to menopause for: standard deviation >6 and >8 days, persistent difference in consecutive segments >6 days, irregularity, and >or=45 day segment. Serum FSH concentration.

RESULT(S): Most women experienced each of the bleeding criteria. Except for a persistent >6 day difference that occurs earlier, the criteria occur at a similar age and at approximately the same age as late transition in a large proportion of women. FSH was associated with all proposed markers.

CONCLUSION(S): The early transition may be best described by ovarian activity consistent with the persistent >6 day difference, but further study is needed, as other proposed criterion are consistent with later menstrual changes.

DOI of Published Version



Fertil Steril. 2008 Jan;89(1):129-40. Epub 2007 Aug 6. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Fertility and sterility

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID