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Three mature womenThis page provides information for women, their partners and families about osteoporosis.

About osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken. It can lead to bones becoming fragile and breaking easily, resulting in pain and disability. Around  three million people in the UK  have osteoporosis, which can occur at any age. 

Post-menopausal women are by far the most commonly affected group because of the reduction in the hormone estrogen, which is important for maintaining bone density.

The following links provide general information about osteoporosis, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment options, and self-help:

Osteoporosis and the menopause

Whether a woman develops osteoporosis after the menopause depends on:

  • The strength of her bones before the menopause
  • Her age at menopause (women who experience the menopause at a younger age are at higher risk of osteoporosis)
  • The rate of bone loss

The links below provide more information about factors contributing to the development of osteoporosis and what can you do to help protect yourself around and after the menopause:

Treatment for osteoporosis

Treating osteoporosis involves treating and preventing fractures and using medication to strengthen bones.

The links below give some further information:

Making a choice about your treatment

There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends. To begin with, try to get answers to three key questions:

  • What are my options?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
  • How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?

For more information about working with your healthcare professional to make the right choice for you, please visit the NHS Shared Decision Making website.

About the links on this page

Some of the information this page links to  is not produced by the RCOG. Our policy on publishing links to third-party sites outlines how we decide which sites to link to, and our terms and conditions include a disclaimer about the RCOG’s responsibility for information on linked sites.

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A–Z of common medical words in women’s health
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