Updated on 22 October 2012
Researchers have found that post-menopausal weight gain is not linked to hormonal changes
Singapore: Menopause doesn't cause women to gain weight, but affects where weight gain occurs, according to the latest research.
In a study published in the International Menopause Society's journal, Climacteric, researchers, led by Monash University's Professor Susan Davis, conducted a review of existing research and found that post-menopausal weight gain was not linked to hormonal changes.
However, as oestrogen levels drop - a consequence of menopause - women's weight gain patterns alter and body fat is stored around the abdomen, rather than the hips. Professor Davis, director of the Women's Health Group at Monash, said the idea menopause causes women to gain weight was a myth.
"At menopause a woman's ovaries shut down - which means they stop producing oestrogen. One of the effects of oestrogen is that it changes where a women's body deposits fat," Professor Davis said.
The study compared women who go through an early or late menopause to those who go through menopause normally. They found in all women the weight gain occurred at the same age, showing menopause itself was not the cause.