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Are you going through the menopause?

You are not alone (approx. 30% of women in society will be going through the same) and help is here for you.

Menopause can bring a variety of symptoms, over 40 in total. You might only have a couple, and there are things you can try to manage them: supplements, exercise, staying hydrated, healthy eating, and seeking support. If your symptoms are severe or constant, it's best to talk to your doctor or nurse.

The time leading up to menopause, when periods become irregular, is called perimenopause. Menopause itself officially starts 12 months after your last period. After that year, you enter the post-menopausal phase.

The typical age for menopause is between 45 and 65, but everyone's different. Your symptoms could start earlier or last longer than average.

What is menopause?

Menopause is the result of changes in the levels of a hormone called oestrogen. It generally happens between the ages of 45-55, with the average being 51. It can also happen earlier, sometimes as the result of surgery or medical treatments.

Perimenopause is the period of time leading up to menopause. It begins when oestrogen levels start changing and ends when you reach menopause. This can start anywhere from late 20s to late 40s.

Anyone can be affected by hormonal changes during their lives for a number of reasons, including pregnancy, fertility treatment, gender transitioning, conditions needing hormone treatment and menopause.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Perimenopause and menopause are both physical changes and their symptoms vary greatly from person to person. The symptoms can have an impact on your physical or mental wellbeing, comfort and performance at work. Research shows that 59% of women experiencing menopausal symptoms stated it had a negative impact on their work.

1 in 4 who go through menopause will be symptom-free, while 1 in 4 will have severe symptoms that have an impact on their day-to-day lives. While mainly women will be affected by perimenopause and menopause, these symptoms can be experienced by people who are trans, non-binary or intersex due to hormone treatments or the withdrawal of hormone treatments.

There are over 30 recognised symptoms, which include:

Physical health symptoms

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Recurring UTIs
  • Stiff joints, aches and pains
  • Heavy periods
  • Insomnia
  • Itchy skin
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weight gain 

Mental health symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Reduced concentration
  • Brain fog

Find out more about the symptoms of menopause on the NHS website

How can I manage symptoms of menopause?

A healthy diet and regular exercise, alongside simple lifestyle changes, can improve some symptoms and are important parts of the toolkit in dealing with menopause.

There's treatment available to help with symptoms and top up hormone levels. Modern forms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are low-risk and a popular choice of treatment.

Non-hormonal treatments and strategies can also be useful.

Find out more about how to get the most from your medicines

How do I find support for menopause?

There are different kinds of support available for those going through perimenopause or menopause.

Talking helps

It's important to know that you're not alone and support is out there. Try to be open about your symptoms with your partner, family and friends – it can help them understand what you're going through.

Sharing experiences with other people going through the same thing could be reassuring. There are many support groups, websites, blogs and videos online where people have shared their stories of menopause.

Support from your doctor

If you have any questions about treatment, or if you're struggling emotionally or physically, it's important that you speak to your doctor. Some areas have specialist Menopause Clinics that can provide advice on how to manage symptoms.

At the start of 2024, Age UK Norwich and Panacea Pause teamed up to offer a new eight-week pilot programme to help women navigate the menopause.

This innovative programme empowered women over the age of 18 with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the physical, emotional, and social transitions of menopause. The class provided tailored support for each individual attending in an informative environment where they could openly discuss their experiences and connect with others on a similar journey. Each meeting included an information section, covering issues like hormonal changes and dietary recommendations, followed by a gentle exercise session helping to build strength and alleviate pain.

Navigating Menopause Club

Empowering women during menopause. Stress, Ability to Cope, Falls Prevention and Condition Management

Visit Panacea Pause

Empowering Women through Menopause Education​