A debate will be held in the Commons Chamber on Thursday 18 October 2018 on World Menopause Day. The subject for the debate has been selected by the Backbench Business Committee and the debate will be opened by Martin Whitfield MP.Jump to full report >>
The menopause is a natural stage in life when a woman’s periods stop, and she is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
It happens when there is a change in the sex hormones as a woman gets older. The ovaries stop producing the hormone oestrogen and no longer produce an egg each month.
The menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45-55; the average age for women in the UK to reach menopause is 51. The process is usually gradual and occurs over several years. Menopause can also be triggered by some treatments for cancer, and in some exceptional cases, younger women may become menopausal (known as premature menopause).
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms that are caused by the change in the balance of hormones. These symptoms can have a significant impact on daily life and well-being and experiences vary widely between women. Common menopausal symptoms include:
The fall in hormone levels that accompanies the menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
The following sources provide more information on the menopause:
The International Menopause Society have chosen sexual well-being as the focus for World Menopause Day 2018. The Society explains that during menopause women can experience sexual problems which can impair their quality of life:
The Society’s factsheet on sexual well-being after menopause provides more information about sexual problems experienced by women after menopause. The Society argues that the topic of sexuality should be approached in a clinical setting and that there is a lack of information, comfort with and biases about the topic of sexuality after menopause.
This debate briefing includes parliamentary material, press notices, news articles and useful further reading on World Menopause day.
 IJ. A. Simon, S. R. Davis, S. E. Althof, P. Chedraui, A. H. Clayton, S. A. Kingsberg, R. E. Nappi, S. J. Parish & W. Wolfman (2018): Sexual well-being after menopause: An International Menopause Society White Paper, Climacteric, DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2018.1482647
Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0225
Authors: Nikki Sutherland; Georgina Hutton
Topic: Health services