This forum seems very informative, which is what I was looking for. I am English, but live in France. From reading some of the postings, seems to me that some people must make researching this topic a full time job! I am 52, had a hysterectomy (retaining ovaries) approx. ten years ago. Menopausal symptoms for one to two years, no HRT. Was chronically asthmatic in England, taking high levels of medication (bronchio-dilators and both inhaled and oral steroids) now in Normandy where the air is pure and sweet - magic! - no asthma! No way am I going to start taking another load of medication, so am willing to put up with the hot flashes and other things. (Incidentally, in England most women call them hot flushes.)
I have received some helpful tips from this forum already - hope I may be able to be of some help myself some day.