BMS launches register of menopause specialists on World Menopause Day

Published: 18th October 2018

To mark World Menopause Day, the British Menopause Society (BMS) has launched a UK-wide register of BMS recognised menopause specialists, covering both NHS and private clinics and services.

The register can be accessed via an online search tool on the BMS website and the interactive map makes it easy to search by geographic location. It contains contact details of each of the recognised specialists across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The register was established in response to the NICE guideline, Menopause: Diagnosis and Management, published in November 20151 which references the term ‘menopause specialist’ throughout.

The BMS medical advisory council, which includes representatives from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing and the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, defined the term, setting down specific criteria and requirements. The first set of applications was received in June 2016 and to date we have 130 BMS recognised specialists on the register. All specialists on this register are members of the British Menopause Society and have met its Recognised Menopause Specialist criteria 

Kathy Abernethy, Chairman, British Menopause Society said:

“Despite the average female life expectancy in the UK being 83 years, and many women living in the post-menopausal phase for half to one-third of their lives, there are still many women who are choosing to go through the menopause without seeking support or treatment even when they are experiencing symptoms that are affecting all aspects of their lives, including their relationships.

“Sadly, many women are unaware of the impact their symptoms can have on their overall health and that small lifestyle and dietary changes can help improve their quality of life. Many with severe symptoms are also often confused about the benefits and risks of treatment options.

“To further compound the problem, having decided to seek help, some women find it difficult to find a healthcare professional with sufficient knowledge about the menopause and post-reproductive health.

“That is why, to mark World Menopause Day on 18 October, the British Menopause Society has established a register of recognised menopause specialists in the UK covering both NHS and private clinics. We believe women need greater support and information to be able to cope with the impact of the menopause and access to BMS recognised specialists is a great step forward.

“An additional valuable resource available to women can be found on the Women’s Health Concern website. Women’s Health Concern (WHC) is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society and offers as one of its core services an email and telephone advisory service. Specialist nurses offer a personal and confidential response to gynaecological, sexual and menopause problems. Women can seek advice in writing by email or by booking a telephone appointment”.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its guideline on the menopause diagnosis and management in November 2015.1 The guidance recommended that healthcare professionals should adopt an individualised approach at all stages of diagnosis, investigation and management of the menopause.1 The guideline covered the treatment of symptoms with both drug and non-drug treatment options that help with physical and psychological symptoms.  It also provided clarity on the benefits and risks of taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy).1  

Recognising the concerns of women and their need for support, advice and reassurance, the BMS has published its vision for menopause healthcare in the UK

(http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2053369117717207). The vision sets out the fundamental principles that should underpin menopause care provision for all to ensure that, even at this turbulent time for the NHS, providers and commissioners are held to account and service users can access high quality menopause care as standard. The document has been endorsed by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 

About the British Menopause Society

The British Menopause Society (BMS) is a specialist society affiliated to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Faculty of Sexual Reproductive Healthcare. It provides education, information and guidance to healthcare professionals specialising in all aspects of post reproductive health.

For more information, please visit the British Menopause Society website.

For additional resources, these can also be found at:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23 – the NICE website offers a breakdown of the guideline on the diagnosis and management of the menopause
https://www.managemymenopause.co.uk/ – for tailored information to suit women’s individual needs
https://www.menopausematters.co.uk/ – for information, online support groups and Menopause Matters – a menopause focused magazine
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632403/menopause_report.docx – a recent Government report examining the extent to which menopause transition impacts on women’s economic participation

Resources are also available on the Women’s Health Concern (WHC) website. WHC is the patient arm of the BMS and resources include factsheets covering a wide range of topics from diet, nutrition and lifestyle guidance and top tips for a healthy menopause to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Menopausal Symptoms and HRT: benefits and risks. Also on the WHC website is access to a telephone advisory and email advice service (www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice).

What is the menopause?

The menopause refers to that time in every woman’s life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. In the UK the average age is 51. In a few exceptional cases women may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is then known as a premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency.3

References

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Menopause: diagnosis and management. Available online: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23  Last accessed: September 2018.
Women’s Health Concern. The Menopause Factsheet. Available online: https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/menopause/ Last accessed September 2018.
The Daisy Network. For information and support to women diagnosed  with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, also known as Premature Menopause. https://www.daisynetwork.org.uk/ Last accessed September 2018