Research shows that hormonal changes during menopause may lead to an increased rate of bone loss. This can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It develops when the bones gradually become weaker and less dense. This can make the bones more fragile and more likely to fracture.

Menopause is when it has been about a year since a person’s final menstruation. It signifies the end of the reproductive cycle and typically occurs between the ages of 45–55 years.

This article discusses the connection between osteoporosis and menopause alongside the symptoms and treatment options for both conditions.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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A 2018 study lists menopause as one of the main risk factors for osteoporosis in females.

After menopause, the ovaries stop producing as much estrogen, a hormone that helps keep the bones dense and strong. According to the Office On Women’s Health, bone mass may decrease by up to 25% in the first 10 years following menopause.

A 2022 study suggests fractures due to osteoporosis may occur in 37.5% of postmenopausal females.

Alongside a lack of estrogen due to menopause, there are several other risk factors for a person developing osteoporosis. These can include:

  • Age: A loss of bone mass typically occurs once a person is older.
  • Sex: Females may be more likely to develop osteoporosis than males.
  • Diet: Not consuming enough calcium and vitamin D can increase the risk of a person developing osteoporosis later in life. Regularly dieting and not consuming enough protein may also be risk factors.
  • Lifestyle: Low levels of physical activity, heavy alcohol consumption, and smoking may be risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as cancer medications and types of antidepressants, may lead to osteoporosis if a person takes them over a long period.
  • Health conditions: Certain health conditions may increase the risk of a person developing osteoporosis, such as:
  • Family history: A person may be more at risk of developing osteoporosis if they have a family history of the condition.

Read more about osteoporosis.

Some people refer to osteoporosis as “the silent” disease. This is because a person may not experience any symptoms of osteoporosis and may not receive a diagnosis until they fracture or break a bone.

Osteoporosis is a common cause of fractures in the vertebrae, hip, and wrist in postmenopausal females. Symptoms of a fracture in the vertebrae can include:

  • severe back pain
  • loss of height
  • a hunched posture
  • curvature of the spine

As there are typically no symptoms of osteoporosis, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends osteoporosis screening for postmenopausal females.

Learn about the warning signs of osteoporosis.

Symptoms of menopause can vary in severity from person to person. Once menopause begins, the levels of estrogen in the body start to fall.

This may lead to several symptoms including:

Read more about menopause symptoms.

There are several treatment options for osteoporosis and menopause, which may help manage symptoms, prevent symptoms from becoming worse, and prevent further health complications.


The primary goal when treating osteoporosis is typically to stop or slow the loss of bone mass to prevent fractures.

Treatment options can include:

  • consuming enough calcium and vitamin D
  • doing regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises
  • limiting the consumption of alcohol and caffeine and quitting or avoiding smoking
  • starting hormonal therapies, such as estrogen agonists or antagonists
  • taking medications, such as:


The 2022 North American Menopause Society position statement suggests that the focus of menopause treatment should revolve around reducing symptoms and preventing further health complications.

Some current treatment options for menopause can include:

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about osteoporosis and menopause.

Can you rebuild bone density after menopause?

It may be possible to boost bone mass and increase bone density after menopause by increasing the uptake of calcium and vitamin D. Weight-bearing aerobic exercise, such as walking with weights, tai chi, stair climbing, and jogging, may also help. Strength and resistance exercises, such as lifting weights, swimming, or cycling, are effective options as well.

What is the life expectancy of a woman with osteoporosis?

A 2015 study suggests the average life expectancy for a person with osteoporosis receiving treatment is more than 15 years for females younger than 75 years and males younger than 60 years.

Menopause resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on menopause.

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Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can occur when the body produces less estrogen. The condition can lead to weaker, less dense bones that fracture more easily.

Menopause marks the end of the reproductive cycle of a female when it has been 12 months since their last menstrual cycle. Menopause can reduce the amount of estrogen the ovaries produce.

The lack of estrogen that occurs due to menopause can cause the bones to gradually become weaker and lose density. This can lead to osteoporosis.