GP surgeries should invite female patients for a "chat" about the menopause when they reach the age of 50, experts have suggested.
The British Menopause Society (BMS) said GPs should get in touch with women on their 50th birthday to invite them to register for a 'health and lifestyle consultation'.
The BMS wants to raise women's awareness of the impact of the menopause, including the increased risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.
The proposed 'consultations' would provide women with a personal health plan, including simple lifestyle changes to help them during the menopause and beyond.
Professor Mary-Ann Lumsden, chairwoman of the BMS, said: "Keeping to a sensible weight, exercise, eating sensibly, moderation of alcohol intake and blood pressure control all help reduce heart disease risk.
"But many women don't know that these measures also reduce the risk of other serious diseases such as breast cancer, cancer of the uterus (womb) and osteoporosis, which affects double the number of people with dementia.
"One fifth of the UK population comprises women over the age of 45.
"Those 13 million women represent enormous economic potential as both employers and employees because of their experience and knowledge.
"But they're at risk of developing conditions which are expensive to treat and extremely costly if they end up having to give up work - not to mention the psychological impact."