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 .
- Women are living longer. The United Nations has estimated that, worldwide, 985 million women in 2020 are aged 50 and over. The figure is expected to rise to 1.65 billion by 2050 . Not surprisingly, the immediate and long-term sequelae of postmenopausal estrogen deficiency and aging present an enormous problem to healthcare systems. There are increasing concerns about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), osteoporosis, dementia, and cognitive decline, which can adversely affect quality of life and independent living.
- The menopause can now be considered to be a mid-life event as the lifespan of women continues to increase in developed countries . By the year 2025, the number of postmenopausal women is expected to rise to 1.1 billion worldwide. Although not all women will experience short- or long-term problems of menopause, the high prevalence of hot flushes [2,3] and vaginal atrophy [2,4], which can last for many years, as well as osteoporosis (1 in 3 women are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture) , makes caring for ageing women a key issue for health professionals.