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Review
. 2017 Apr;20(2):85-90.
doi: 10.1080/13697137.2017.1270570. Epub 2017 Jan 2.

A Brief History of the International Menopause Society

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Review

A Brief History of the International Menopause Society

R J Baber et al. Climacteric. .

Abstract

Although some understanding of post-reproductive life dates back to Ancient Greece, the term 'menopause' was only introduced in the early 1800s by a French physician. Notwithstanding familiarity with the condition at that time, treatments were largely ineffective, often harmful and never evidence-based, and it was not until 100 years later with the identification and description of estrogen and progesterone that effective treatments became available. So efficacious were hormone therapies for menopausal symptoms that their prescription was often recommended for all postmenopausal women regardless of their needs, wishes or health status. For many there was benefit but for some there was harm. It was in this environment that a small group of clinicians determined to form an International Menopause Society (IMS) to conduct research into the appropriate use of hormone therapy in treating menopause symptoms, to hold regular congresses to educate colleagues and discuss research results and thus to improve the health and well-being of women in midlife and beyond. Formed in 1978, the IMS is now recognized as the global leader in its field, working towards these goals in collaboration with colleagues and other national and regional societies concerned with women's health. During that time, the IMS has been led by 13 Presidents and has conducted 15 World Congresses on the Menopause, all of which are reviewed in this paper.

Keywords: International Menopause Society; history; menopause.

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