arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word instagram-icon youtube-icon
Womens health menopause

Women's health: menopause

The menopause happens to all women, however the degree of impact on a woman’s quality of life and the symptoms experienced are very individual. It is important that all health care professionals understand the changes that women face at the time of their menopause and the issues related to improving health after menopause.

All nurses should be able to demonstrate some understanding of the impact of the menopause and provide support and advice to women and men. Those working specifically in women’s health need to understand the safety and efficacy of modern therapy options and be aware of the myriad of complementary therapies. They also need to balance these options with the fact that for many women the menopause is an event that needs no intervention, and all that’s required is general health promotion advice.

NICE (2015) defines menopause as:

"Menopause is when a woman stops having periods as she reaches the end of her natural reproductive life. This is not usually abrupt, but a gradual process during which women experience peri-menopause before reaching post-menopause (NICE, 2015)

We have published the following guidance:

  • Menopause. RCN guidance for nurses, midwives and health visitors. This publication aims to help all health care professionals gain awareness of what happens to the body during menopause and in the post-menopausal stage, and examines the impact of these changes on women, outlining the options for health after menopause. See: Menopause. RCN guidance for nurses and midwives.
  • Nurse specialist in menopause. This booklet builds on the British Menopause Society's agreed standards, focusing on the options for nurses who may choose a career pathway towards becoming a specialist practitioner in menopause. See: Nurse specialist in menopause.
  • The menopause and work: guidance for RCN representatives. This publication provides guidance to RCN Reps when working with colleagues going through the menopause. The document discusses symptoms, workplace policies, and recommendations for changes to both work patterns and the work environment. See: The menopause and work: guidance for RCN representatives.

'Find a Menopause Specialist' service

To mark World Menopause Day (18 October 2018), the British Menopause Society (BMS) has launched a UK-wide register of BMS recognised menopause specialists, covering both NHS and private clinics and services. 

The register can be accessed via an online search tool on the BMS website and the interactive map makes it easy to search by geographic location. It contains contact details of each of the recognised specialists across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

See: ‘Find a Menopause Specialist’ service.

Further resources

NICE (2015) Menopause: diagnosis and management. This guideline covers the diagnosis and management of menopause, including in women who have premature ovarian insufficiency. It also aims to improve the consistency of support and information provided to women in menopause.

Wales TUC Learning Services (2017) The menopause in the workplace. A toolkit for trade unionists. This toolkit provides information to help reps in recognising and addressing the workplace issues that can worsen women’s symptoms

Page last updated - 12/11/2018