The menopause occurs naturally in women when the ovaries no longer produce the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Menopause can also occur as a result of damage to the ovaries by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or if the ovaries have been removed for example during a hysterectomy
Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, insomnia, joint aches and headaches are believed to be due to changing levels of hormones, in particular oestrogen, but other factors such as lifestyle and medication can also affect the symptoms. Life-style factors such as reducing/stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, reducing caffeine intake, reducing stress, eating healthily and taking regular exercise may help the symptoms of menopause. For other women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help with the symptoms.