The menopause and the female larynx, clinical aspects and therapeutic options: a literature review

Maturitas. 2009 Sep 20;64(1):27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jul 25.


During lifetime the female larynx is very sensitive to sex hormone fluctuations. The menopause forms a critical event in a women's life and also affects the laryngeal tissues. The present report gives an overview of the recent literature about the impact of the menopause on the female larynx and vocal quality. The article discusses the symptoms, aetiology and different treatment options for laryngeal changes during the menopause. The literature pertaining to the impact of the menopause on the voice and the larynx was reviewed to provide a critical summary about the menopausal voice, aetiology and therapeutic options. In postmenopausal women laryngeal changes like oedema and muscular and mucosal dystrophy and atrophy were found. For the voice, the most important acoustic changes in postmenopausal women are a decreased vocal frequency range, decreased fundamental frequency and a higher frequency perturbation. Potential direct and indirect causes for these changes are discussed. Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed in some women for the treatment of menopausal complaints. The first reports in the literature point out a tendency towards a positive, organ-conserving effect of hormone treatment on the larynx and probably the voice. The type and the form of application of hormone therapy seem to be important in the outcome of the studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Edema / etiology
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Laryngeal Diseases* / etiology
  • Larynx* / pathology
  • Larynx* / physiopathology
  • Menopause
  • Mucous Membrane / physiopathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Voice* / physiology