On this page

What is menopause

Menopause is when women no longer ovulate or have a period. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.

Many women experience symptoms before reaching menopause and this is called perimenopause. For some women, menopause may be triggered by treatment for cancer or other medical conditions such as endometriosis.

How menopause can affect women

The hormonal changes that occur for women as they approach menopause can cause hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood disorders or weight gain. Every woman is different, and symptoms can vary depending on a woman’s health, lifestyle, cultural background and family history.

Around 20 per cent of women experience more severe or long-lasting symptoms.

Hormonal changes during menopause can also lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone thinning. These conditions may remain diagnosed until a woman has a broken bone. Each year in Australia there is a fracture (broken bone) every 3.2 minutes due to poor bone health. One in three women over 50 will experience a fracture caused by poor bone health in their lifetime.

Women experiencing menopause are also at increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Women may suffer symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in silence, or not receive an appropriate diagnosis and/or treatment options. For many, this can impact on their economic and social opportunities as well as their health and wellbeing in the short and long term.

Investing in menopause services for women

The NSW government has recognised an opportunity to improve access to services for menopause and bone health management.

In 2022 NSW Government committed $40.3 million over 4 years (2022-23 to 2025-26) to establish up to 16 new services for women experiencing severe symptoms of menopause.

Funding will also support a state-wide education and awareness campaign focusing on severe perimenopause and menopause symptoms and a state-wide clinical group to lead the implementation of these new services.

The services will build on NSW’s successful Osteoporotic Refracture Prevention services to give women access to focused menopause care including access to allied health professionals for urinary continence management, exercise advice, nutrition and weight management advice.

The 16 new or enhanced services, will include a network of four hubs and 12 services to support for women with severe and complex symptoms of menopause.

  • The four hubs will be larger services providing a broader range of support services for women to address the severe symptoms of menopause, including access to medical staff for medical assessments and pharmacotherapy.
  • The hubs will also provide a role in supporting the other 12 services, including medical consults using virtual care.
  • The 12 services will have a coordinator and a range of allied health or nursing staff to support women in accessing appropriate care.
  • Services will offer the choice to receive care either in person or at home using virtual care.

Women will be able to access these new services as they are established across NSW. The investment started in July 2022, and new services will be progressively established by late 2023.

Read our Menopause hubs and services fact sheet which answers frequently asked questions about the design and delivery of the service network, and where the services will be located.

Support for women in rural and regional NSW

The specialist menopause services will be networked across NSW to ensure that women in rural and regional NSW have access to specialist menopause services.

Each of the rural or regional local health districts will provide a menopause service.

Services will be designed to provide a flexible model that includes both in- person and virtual consults to allow women to choose how they would like their care delivered.

What support the services will provide

The specialist menopause services will provide expert advice and support for women about:

  • managing severe and complex symptoms of menopause
  • bone health for the management of osteoporosis and to prevent fractures
  • lowering the cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • supporting mental health and wellbeing
  • management of weight and lifestyle
  • managing urinary problems.

How women in NSW can access the services

Women should continue to seek care from their primary care practitioner to support the management of symptoms and risk arising from menopause. Your primary care provider will be able to determine if there is a need to refer to a specialist menopause service.

Women referred to the service will be offered flexible ways to access care, that fits into their busy lives. Women may choose to attend a service in person or at home using virtual care.

More information

Our Menopause hubs and services fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about the location, design and delivery of the specialist menopause hubs and services.

Read recent media releases announcing the NSW Government’s investment in these services.

Free online toolkit

For support and advice on managing your menopause, visit the NSW Government’s free Menopause Resources and Support Toolkit . It provides links to health organisations and information about:

  • the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause
  • common symptoms and misconceptions about menopause
  • options for managing menopause
  • the support services available to women in NSW.

Current as at: Monday 23 January 2023
Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning