Abstract

Menopause is a natural developmental phase that all women go through from their early forties to mid-fifties, marking the transition from the reproductive to the non-reproductive years. This is characterised as the permanent cessation of menses due to progressive ovarian failure. Each woman's experience of the menopause is unique. Biopsychosocial changes occur during this time with some symptoms affecting up to 80 % of women and lasting for 4–5 years from the peri- to post-menopause. Reduced oestrogen may predispose some women to health issues following menopause, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cognitive decline. It is vital to understand how to promote health and well-being to reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions in later life. Increased symptoms and concerns about health during the menopausal transition can be cues to action for some women to actively maintain their health. Menopause represents a window of opportunity to promote health, and to support women to make healthier lifestyle choices, part of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for menopause management. Identifying appropriate strategies to change behaviour is less clear. Theories of behaviour change can provide frameworks to gain more insight into the facilitators and barriers to behaviour and can inform the researcher on what needs to change. This information can be used to inform the design, content, implementation and evaluation of a lifestyle intervention. This review paper will explore the impact of menopause on health and well-being generally, and the benefits of designing more effective theory-driven behaviour change interventions for menopause.

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