Menopause Matters

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Today is World Menopause day. The Menopause is such a well known subject, so why is there such little understanding? Let's talk about it...

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I am a 36 year old female and before I began to write this article, I had to sit down and think ‘what do I actually know about this subject?’. I was actually quite shocked at how little I knew about something that is inevitably going to happen to me at some point in my life.

The Menopause has been around forever, so why isn’t this topic discussed as much as it should be? Why is there such shame surrounding it and what can we do about it?

In this age we have access to endless amounts of information and experiences thanks to the internet and Social Media. No woman should feel the need to go through this process alone and everyone should feel open to talk about it. Once you actually start to look into the subject of Menopause, you realise, you aren’t alone and there are so many people out there, willing to share their stories.

The only answer to ‘what can we do about it’ is to simply talk about it more. Let’s make this subject a normal one, the end of your periods should be as normal as it was to start them.

Don’t miss our video further down this article for more women’s experiences, including a story from Hayley who was diagnosed at just 14 years old!

What are the symptoms of Menopause?

Menopause is not an illness or medical condition, it is completely normal which is why symptoms can be undervalued and are not always taken seriously.

The average age for a woman to go through the Menopause is 51, although symptoms of the perimenopause can start around the age of 45.

In some cases, symptoms can last up to 15 years.

Every woman is different but the main symptoms to look out for are:

  • Period changes
  • Hot Flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Mood Changes
  • Fatigue and poor sleep
  • Brain Fog
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Joint pains and muscle aches
  • Skin and hair changes
  • Headaches that worsen
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Urinary symptoms
How is the Menopause diagnosed?

When you are over the age of 45 testing isn’t usually required. A log of your periods and symptoms is all that your GP should need to make a diagnosis.

When you are under the age of 45, your GP may wish to carry out some tests. This is usually a blood test to measure your hormone levels which is repeated 4-6 weeks later.

What treatments are available?

There are many treatments available to women such as:

  • HRT is a treatment that relieves symptoms by replacing the estrogen your body stops making after the menopause. HRT is not a ‘one cap fits all’ solution as there are many different types and ways of taking it which a medical professional can help you with.
  • Body-identical and bioidentical hormones. A more modern type of HRT containing estrogen that is derived from plants, such as yams. This is known as bodyidentical estrogen, as it has the same molecular structure as the estrogen produced by our bodies.
  • Testosterone taken along side HRT can help to improve sex drive, mood, memory and concentration.
  • Estrogen can be given directly to the vagina in the form of a cream, a tablet (pessary) or a silicon ring inserted into the vagina to help with vaginal dryness.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps by talking about your experience with a therapist. It focuses on changing the way you think which can help with mood.
  • Herbal medicines. There are many herbal medicines that people opt to take but please ensure you discuss the use of any herbal medicines with your medical professional before taking.
Our Community Matters

With 80% of our community being women, we believe it is important to highlight the Menopause. Half of the population will experience the Menopause at some point in their life and should be able to discuss the matter openly, without any shame or embarrassment.

13 Million women in the UK are peri or post menopausal, that is a LOT of women that deserve to be heard.

Two thirds of women say there is a lack of understanding surrounding the menopause. Let’s make a change….

Further Resources

There are many sources available online offering help and support with the menopause. Some websites that you may find helpful are listed here:

Menopause NHS Website

Womens Health Concern

Balance Menopause

Menopause Support

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