Dealing with the Menopause

The menopause is a result of a natural and biological process which causes a decline in the reproductive hormones - in other words an oestrogen deficiency. It usually occurs in your early 40's up until your late 50's, but sometimes it can happen even earlier. 

Did you know that only 1% of women start their menopause before they are 40 and only 5% of women start their menopause between the age of 40 and 45. 

The menopause isn't something that happens over night or a couple of months, it is a gradual process called the peri-menopausal transition which normally happens around 4 years before your last period but sometimes this can also begin to occur up to 10 years before the menopause begins. During the peri-menopause you might find your period will skip a month, then return for several months and then skip another month with the flow becoming lighter and heavier.

The cause of the menopause is caused by an imbalance of the body sex hormones, which naturally occurs as we age. As this begins to occur, the function of the ovaries seize and stop producing the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month, resulting in 0% chance of becoming pregnant.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Tiredness & Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Mood Changes
  • Insomnia 
  • Thinning of hair / Hair Loss
  • Sore / Tender Breasts
  • Vaginal Dryness & Itchiness 
  • Reduced Sex Drive
  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats 
  • Urinary Infections
  • Increased hair on face, neck, chest & back

If you feel you have these symptoms, are reaching the menopause and would like any support, you should visit your GP or speak with one of our consultants who can advise you where to turn, what supplements you can try to alleviate symptoms. 

Your GP may send you for a blood test to check your FSH level. If your FSH level is 30ml or higher and you have had no period for 12 months or more this would confirm you are going through the menopause

Some methods you can try to treat or alleviate symptoms;

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Exercising just 20-30 per day can be enough to reduce symptoms as this will improve your mood and well-being and increase your overall energy levels
  • Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) This can help to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and hot flashes. 
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Regular intake of Sodium, Magnesium and Vitamin D
  • Vaginal Lubricants when suffering with Vaginal Dryness
  • Eating a well balanced and healthy diet
  • Wear loose clothing and keep a fan in your bedroom at night
  • Herbal remedies such red clover & Black Cohosh
  • Self-care with relaxation, massages and acupuncture

Avoid - Caffeine, Alcohol and Spicy Foods as these can trigger hot flashes. 

Living with menopause isn't easy for any woman and all women suffer in their own way. Some women suffer with hot flashes and no depression and tiredness, but some women may suffer every single symptoms on the list above. Don't feel alone and know there is support out there. 

Your main point of contact should be your GP but if you feel you would like additional support, please contact us and we can help with many of the forms of treatment above.