Women's health is increasingly recognized as a global health priority . The menopause, or the cessation of menstruation, is a stage of the life cycle which will occur in all women. The average age at menopause is 51 years. With increasing life expectancy many women will live for several decades after the menopause. However, the menopause can occur much earlier, either naturally, with no identifiable underlying cause , or as a consequence of disease, surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The resulting estrogen deficiency may lead to menopausal symptoms which, for some, can present considerable difficulties in their working lives, discrimination in the workplace and even unemployment .