The relationship between menopausal syndrome and gut microbes

BMC Womens Health. 2022 Nov 8;22(1):437. doi: 10.1186/s12905-022-02029-w.


Background: Gut microbes were closely related to women's health. Previous studies reported that the gut microbes of premenopausal women were different from those of postmenopausal women. However, little was known about the relationship between gut microbiota dysbiosis and menopausal syndrome (MPS). The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between MPS and gut microbes.

Methods: Patients with MPS (P group, n = 77) and healthy women (H group, n = 24) at menopause were recruited in this study. The stool specimen and clinical parameters (demographic data, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), et al) of participants' were collected. We evaluated the differences in gut microbes by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. We used LEfSe to identify gut microbes with varying abundances in different groups. The Spearman correlation coefficients of clinical parameters and gut microbes were calculated. PICRUSt was used to predict the potential KEGG Ortholog functional profiles of microbial communities.

Results: The abundance of 14 species differed substantially between the MPS and menopausal healthy women (LDA significance threshold > 2.0) according to LEfSe analysis. Using Spearman's correlation analysis, it was discovered that E2 had a positive correlation with Aggregatibacter segnis, Bifidobacterium animalis, Acinetobacter guillouiae (p < 0.05, these three species were enriched in menopausal healthy women), while FSH and LH had a negative correlation with them (p < 0.05). KEGG level3 metabolic pathways relevant to cardiovascular disease and carbohydrate metabolism were enriched in the MPS (p < 0.05), according to functional prediction by PICRUST and analyzed by Dunn test.

Conclusion: There was gut microbiota dysbiosis in MPS, which is reflected in the deficiency of the abundance of Aggregatibacter segnis, Bifidobacterium animalis and Acinetobacter guillouiae related to the level of sex hormones. In MPS individuals, species with altered abundances and unique functional pathways were found.

Keywords: 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing; Functional prediction; Gut microbes; Gut microbiota dysbiosis; Menopausal syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dysbiosis* / microbiology
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Menopause


  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Supplementary concepts

  • Acinetobacter guillouiae