Women usually start experiencing menopause symptoms between 45 and 55 years of age. It’ a natural part of aging, and signals a decline in a woman's oestrogen levels. Gradually, a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant. The time when a woman’s periods become less frequent, as she transitions towards the menopause, is called the perimenopause. This usually occurs when a woman is between 40 and 50 years old. Occasionally (about one in 100), women experience the menopause before 40 years of age; this is known as premature menopause.
The menopause brings about a host of physical and psychological symptoms for women. Even though the menopause affects all women, each individual can experience different symptoms. Some may experience severe symptoms, whilst for others, life isn’t disrupted as much.
A blood test, to check your hormone levels, can be carried out to confirm whether you’re in the menopause, if you’re aged 40-45 years of age. Women older than this are usually diagnosed based on their symptoms. Your GP will be able to talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing.
At Forth With Life, we want to help you understand the symptoms you may be going through during the menopause. Educating yourself about the menopause, its symptoms, and how to treat them, will hopefully help you to move through this stage of life staying in control of your health and happiness.
Below, we’ve provided answers to the 10 most common questions asked about the menopause.
- Am I in the menopause?
- I’m suffering from hot flushes, especially at night. What other symptoms should I expect during the menopause?
- If I’m in the menopause, does that mean I’m going to get osteoporosis?
- I’m struggling to sleep at night and am tired all the time. Why is this and what can I do about it?
- I’ve put on weight recently, due to the menopause. What can I do about this?
- What medication should I consider to help control my menopause symptoms, and is it safe?
- How should I change my diet to help improve my menopause symptoms?
- I’m finding sex is painful, and have suffered a dramatic reduction in my libido. I’m really embarrassed to discuss this with anyone. What can I do?
- I don’t want to take HRT, but I’m not sure if there is any scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of alternative therapies to treat the menopause. What should I do?
- Are there any changes to my lifestyle that I can make to help improve the symptoms of the menopause?