Menopause

This is a subject very close to my heart. I started getting menopausal symptoms at the age of 40 and, nearly 10 years later, I am still getting them and I am not even officially menopausal yet. For many people, it’s a long road and one that still isn’t talked about very much, although there has been much more media coverage recently with high profile celebrities sharing their stories and parliamentary campaigns to reduce the cost of medication.

I talk about people, not women, as people of all genders can experience menopause and I want to include everyone in the conversation.

As people near the end of the reproductive stage of their lives, the levels of reproductive hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone decline. There are hormone receptors in cells throughout the body which is why symptoms are so widespread and so variable. Every person’s experience will be different.

Menopause is not a medical condition; it’s a natural transitional phase. The menopause itself only lasts for a day – the day12 months after your last period. After that, you are post-menopausal.

The average age of natural menopause is 51, but this varies considerably. The perimenopause occurs during the years running up to the menopause. During this time, a person will still be having periods alongside menopausal symptoms. For most people, this happens from their mid 40s onwards. However, it can happen much earlier and many people do not realise their symptoms are due to the perimenopause.

Some of the most common symptoms are mood swings, anxiety, disturbed sleep, bladder issues (eg increased frequency), vaginal dryness and, of course, hot flushes and night sweats. For a full list of menopausal symptoms click here.

The saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved” and so, inspired by a BBC documentary on the menopause, I set up a local Menopause Cafe so people can share their experiences. Due to Covid, we haven’t been able to meet up yet but we have a Facebook page and private group (see below). All are welcome – you don’t have to be menopausal to join us.

Below I am sharing some of my favourite resources if you would like to delve deeper.

A fantastic summary of menopause, including the benefits and risks of HRT and alternatives by Dr Louise Newson, a GP with a special interest in menopause.
Check out Jackie Lynch’s book for easy to implement nutritional advice, including lots of guidance for specific symptoms.
Great discussions around menopause and midlife with Liz Earle. This episode busts some menopause myths and looks at the role of diet and HRT in managing symptoms.

Connect

If you are looking for local support, why not join our private Facebook group? When restrictions ease, the plan is for regular meet ups in Wimborne.

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For a bit of light relief and menopause related humour (warning – it’s a bit sweary!).

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If you would like any further information or resources, or have any suggestions on how I could better this blog, please let me know.

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All content and information on this website is for for informational and educational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your GP or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before making any decisions in respect of your healthcare.