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Coming Soon

A new monthly group launching soon to discuss all aspects of menopausing, talks from experts, support from other woman and activities that offer different types of help with symptoms will all be part of the focus of this group. If you'd like to register your interest, please e-mail reception@ageukfs.org.uk 

 
 

Some Facts.

What is the menopause?
Menopause means the ‘last menstrual period’. However, many women say they are ‘going through the menopause’ when talking about the time leading up to their final period when they notice changes in their menstrual cycle and the onset of symptoms such as hot flushes and sweats. Women are said to have reached the menopause when they haven’t had a period for one year. In the UK the average age at which women reach the menopause is around 51, however, some women can go through the menopause earlier or later. A menopause before the age of 45 is an ‘early’ or ‘premature’ menopause.
 
Women often ask how long the menopause is likely to go on for. It varies a lot. While a third of women have no symptoms at all, most women have at least two or three years of ‘hormonal chaos’ as their oestrogen levels decline before the last period. This is called the perimenopause. Women are said to be postmenopausal any time after their last period. However, a small minority still have hot flushes in their eighties.
 
What are the symptoms?
Irregular periods and hot flushes and sweats are usually the first signs that the menopause has begun. Other symptoms that may occur include sleep disruption, loss of sex drive (libido), vaginal dryness, urinary problems, joint and muscle aches, changes in skin and hair, weight gain, anxiety, mood swings, depression, and poor memory and concentration.
 
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether symptoms are caused by the menopause or by other factors in midlife. Women may be working full-time, caring for teenage children as well as elderly parents, or going through marital problems - all can add to the burden of coping with menopausal symptoms.
 
What treatments are available?
Most women see the menopause as ‘a natural milestone in their lives and get through it on their own’. Alongside diet and exercise, most choose common sense self-help approaches to minimise the effects of their symptoms (e.g. wearing cotton clothing and using a fan to help with hot flushes) rather than take prescription medication.

A considerable number of women have tried complementary therapies for symptom relief. However, ‘very few trials have been done and the ones that have been done have shown very poor results. She does, however, recommend a diet rich in phytoestrogens such as soy, lentils and chick peas.
 
For some women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) continues to offer relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes by replacing oestrogen. It's available in many forms including tablets, cream or gel, a skin patch or an implant.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is recommended for some women, for effective relief of severe menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and in young women following early menopause up until about 50 years old. As with any medication, HRT has benefits and risks and these should be discussed with your doctor. For most symptomatic women under 60 years or within 10 years after menopause, use of HRT for up to 5 years is safe and effective, Most experts agree that if HRT is used on a short-term basis (no more than five years), "the benefits are generally gelt to outweigh the risks" (NHS Choices 2016- HRT). However, it will not be suitable for some women because of their medical history.