A clinical guideline on the ‘diagnosis and management of menopause’ is in preparation and, once available, will be used throughout the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been asked by the Department of Health to develop the clinical guideline

To oversee the guideline development process, NICE is working with a Guideline Development Group, chaired by Professor of Gynaecology, Mary Ann Lumsden, and comprising 15 expert advisers in menopause management and post-reproductive care. The Group

[PDF of list group, 86KB] includes gynaecologists, specialist GPs, specialist menopause nurses and physicians. There are also some 117 stakeholders, including the British Menopause Society and Women’s Health Alliance.

Need for a clinical guideline

The information and support currently offered to women during and after the menopause is thought to be variable and, for some, inadequate.

A UK survey published in 2007 indicated that most women would welcome more information about the menopause. To improve the information provided and to facilitate women being able to make informed choices, some professional groups have suggested that women should be invited for a health and lifestyle consultation on their 50th birthday. This would include a discussion on menopausal symptoms and possible long term effects of oestrogen depletion, including risks for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and changes in the vagina and bladder.

The ‘diagnosis and management of the menopause’ guidelines will encompass :

  • Menopausal women (covering peri-menopause and post-menopause)
  • Women with premature ovarian insufficiency (regardless of cause)

Clinical issues to be incorporated :

  • Diagnosis and classification of the stages of menopause
  • Optimal clinical management of menopause-related symptoms
  • Contribution of HRT in preventing long-term potential associated conditions of the menopause (especially osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease)
  • Diagnosis and management of premature ovarian insufficiency

The guidelines will :

  • Offer broad guidance that covers aspects of the management of the menopause
  • Be based on the best clinical evidence
  • Take account of clinical and cost effectiveness
  • Take account of the patient perspective

When published, in July 2015, the guidelines will be applicable for all NHS healthcare settings where NHS care is received or commissioned.