The NSW Government has committed funding over four years (2022-23 to 2025-26) to establish 17 services for people experiencing severe symptoms of menopause.
There will be four major hub services, in different local health districts (LHDs). These will support the other services.
The hubs will be located at:
- Northern Sydney LHD
- South Eastern Sydney LHD
- South Western Sydney LHD
- Hunter New England LHD.
Hunter New England will lead a hub that is networked to support the rural areas across Mid North Coast and Northern NSW.
Menopause is considered to have occurred 12 months following the cessation of menstruation. It is a normal reproductive stage and, on average in Australia, occurs around age 51.
However, 1 in 10 people experience early menopause before the age of 45 and 4% experience premature ovarian insufficiency or complete loss of ovarian function before the age of 40.
Menopause can occur when the ovaries are removed through surgery or cease to function due to treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Case for change
Up to one in four women experiences severe and debilitating symptoms associated with menopause.1 Common symptoms include night sweats, bladder, vaginal and vulval changes, mood swings and trouble sleeping.
After menopause, women are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Australian midlife women have a good understanding of the immediate effects of menopause. There is less understanding of the long-term consequences following menopause.2
Health practitioners recognise the short-term and long-term effects of menopause. There are opportunities to improve practitioners’ knowledge and confidence in menopausal care.3
Aim of the project
ACI is developing models of care for the new and enhanced services. This will include an escalation pathway for people experiencing severe or complex menopause symptoms.
The services will work with primary care to ensure access to specialist menopause multidisciplinary care. They will also link to existing NSW osteoporotic refracture prevention services, given the increased risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
This initiative is an opportunity to improve the overall health of midlife women, as well as providing better access to menopause services for priority populations.
A multidisciplinary Menopause Taskforce is providing strategic advice around the design and implementation of the services. The Taskforce is led by four co-chairs.
Professor Rodney Baber AM
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney
Doctor Amanda Beech
Endocrinologist and Obstetric Medicine Physician Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW
Professor John Eden
Conjoint Associate Professor, UNSW Visiting Medical Officer and Director Royal Hospital for Women Menopause Unit
Ms Joanne Perks
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Liverpool Women’s Health Centre NSW Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network
Separate consumer and clinician reference groups will inform the work of the Taskforce and help design the models of care.
An implementation working group, with representatives from every local health district in NSW, will put the models of care into practice.
- Gartoulla P, Worsley R, Bell RJ, et al. Moderate to severe vasomotor and sexual symptoms remain problematic for women aged 60 to 65 years. Menopause. 2015;22(7):694-701. DOI:10.1097/GME.0000000000000383
- Herbert D, Bell RJ, Young K, et al. Australian women's understanding of menopause and its consequences: a qualitative study. Climacteric. 2020;23(6):622-628. DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2020.1791072
- Davis SR, Herbert D, Reading M, et al. Health-care providers' views of menopause and its management: a qualitative study. Climacteric. 2021;24(6):612-617. DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2021.1936486