STRAW stands for “Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop” and it was a workshop held in 2001 that aimed to standardize the terminology used to describe the stages of menopause. The workshop resulted in the creation of a menopausal staging system that defined reproductive aging based on menstrual cycle characteristics and hormonal changes. The system defined five stages, including premenopause, early menopause transition, late menopause transition, early postmenopause, and late postmenopause.
STRAW +10 was a subsequent workshop held in 2011 that updated and revised the original staging system based on new research findings. The updated system retained the five stages of reproductive aging and incorporated new hormonal and menstrual cycle markers to improve accuracy and reliability.
It is important for providers to have a common language when communicating about the stages of menopause because menopause is a complex and multifaceted biological process that affects women in different ways. Having a standardized terminology and staging system ensures that providers can accurately assess a patient’s menopausal status and provide appropriate treatment and care. It also facilitates communication among healthcare providers, researchers, and patients. The STRAW and STRAW +10 definitions provide a common language that is widely recognized and used in clinical practice and research, improving the quality of care provided to menopausal women.