EMAS Position Statements and Clincial Guides
- 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 .
- Timing of menopause is an indicator of ovarian function and has important health implications. Natural menopause is commonly defined as the time when a woman has experienced 12 consecutive months of amenorrhoea without obvious cause , such as removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy), chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer. The International collaboration on the Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events (InterLACE)  recently reported that the average age at natural menopause across 21 studies from 10 countries ranged from 47 to 53 years, varying across ethnic groups from 48 years for women of South Asian background to 50 years for Caucasian women living in Australia and Europe, and 52 years for Japanese women .