- The menopause occurs when a woman stops having periods
- The diagnosis is confidently made when there was no period for more than 12 months.
- Periods usually start to become less frequent before they stop altogether but sometimes they can stop suddenly.
- It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. In the UK, the average age of menopause is 51. However, around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian failure.
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms that vary in intensity.
Common symptoms include:
* hot flushes
* night sweats
* vaginal dryness and soreness
* Mood changes or anxiety
* reduced libido
* dry skin
* Changes to the bladder function
* memory loss and loss of concentration
Those symptoms can appear months or even years before the periods stop and can last for a long time.
HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is the gold standard treatment for menopausal symptoms. HRT received bad publicity the last decade and very often conflicting advise has been offered to women.
At the London Women’s Centre we provide evidence based advise regarding the risks and the benefits of HRT preparations (tablets, skin patches, gels, implants) and we have vast experience in the alternative methods to treat bothersome menopausal symptoms.
Those include lifestyle changes, nutritional changes, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), acupuncture and hypnosis.
A detailed assessment of the symptoms and the woman’s medical history will lead to the appropriate individualised treatment.