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We want to promote a better understanding of women’s health in later health, especially the experience of menopause. 

With good medical guidance and insights into the menopause, this natural part of aging can be made as positive as possible. We want to help women manage their way through the menopause, equipping them with the knowledge to treat symptoms, have constructive conversations with healthcare professionals and to take action in the face of any complications.

Follow the links below to access information on the health concerns which, when asked, women have said are the most important to them during this stage of their lives.

The menopause

Menopause is a natural stage in life and part of the ageing process. It marks the time when a woman’s periods stop as her ovaries stop producing eggs.

The menopause usually occurs in a woman’s early 50s, but can happen earlier or later. Although the symptoms may go on for a number of years, menopause is said to have taken place when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.

Premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) can affect women in their late thirties. In some women this can occur as a result of some form of surgical or medical treatment, and sometimes it can run in families.

It can be very difficult for women to come to terms with a diagnosis of premature menopause, especially if they haven't yet had a family and were hoping to do so in the future. Treatment in the form of HRT or combined hormonal pill to replace the ovarian hormones is recommended in these young women, both to help with any menopausal symptoms and to reduce the long-term risks such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Information and support about premature menopause is available from the Daisy Network.

Women’s experience of the menopause can vary hugely. Each woman will have her own emotional and physical response to the changes which are brought about by menopause.

Before the full onset of menopause there is a stage known as perimenopause. This can last from four to five years – occasionally longer. Not all women have symptoms at this stage, but some women may experience some of the following:

  • Change in menstrual cycle
  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Memory problems
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Weight gain
Please give us your feedback

We would like to understand how people are using this resource to help ensure it is relevant and useful. To give us your feedback or if you have any questions, please email womensvoices@rcog.org.uk.