What is the menopause?

The menopause is defined as the last menstrual period. Periods happen due to hormones produced by the ovaries – oestrogen and progesterone. There is a natural reduction in hormone production as a woman gets older. The falling level of hormones, particularly oestrogen, is thought to cause the menopausal symptoms that many women experience.

When does it happen?

The average age for the last period is between 50 and 51 years old but there is a wide variation with an early menopause occurring in some women under forty five years old and some women continuing to have periods up to age 56 or 57. Premature ovarian failure may cause women as young as thirty or less to become menopausal.

What are the symptoms?

What can I do to help myself?

How long will symptoms last?

What medical treatments are available?

What are the side effects of HRT?

Is all HRT the same?

How long should I stay on HRT?

What non prescription alternatives are there?

What about contraception?

Other medical conditions to consider

Menopause Checklist

Menopause Fact Sheet - Hot Flushes

Menopause Fact Sheet - Sleep Disorders

HRT - Making an informed choice

Recent Guidelines