Slowly, but surely, open discussion about what really happens to women around the menopause is increasing. An estimated 90% of women will have some symptoms, even if they only recognise that in retrospect.
A woman is diagnosed as being menopausal when she stops having periods because her ovaries have no eggs left. The average age of menopause in the UK is 52 years, but 1 in 5 women have no periods by the age of 45, and 1 in 100 women have premature ovarian failure by the age of 40 years.
Symptoms can start up to 10 years before periods stop, when they are still regular, but some women only develop issues after their last bleed. The length of time that symptoms persist also varies, and the frustrating thing is that there is no test to indicate how long this ‘perimenopause’ might last. The majority of women develop symptoms within 2 years of their last period. Most feel back to normal 2-5 years after their menopause.
The development of perimenopausal symptoms heralds the loss of fertility for most women. Some women associate this with an apparent diminution of femininity or feeling old, and have hidden it from partners and family. Many women have suffered in silence, with little help provided by their GPs, who historically have been wary of the potential risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Thankfully times are changing, and more help is out there!
HRT is the only treatment that effectively cures all perimenopausal symptoms. Some bio-identical HRT (BHRT) can be prescribed by your GP. This has been proven to be the safest form of HRT with minimal side effects.
The HRT required depends on every womans’ unique personal menopause journey, and varies as time passes. We provide a tailored approach to manage symptoms that changes as required to optimise your wellbeing on your journey. Some women take HRT just while they need it for symptoms, whilst others, if it is safe to do so, can continue a safe, low dose bio-identical hormone replacement long term.
Long term treatment with BHRT after the menopause will decrease the risk of osteoporosis, and may significantly decrease the incidence or severity of long term chronic health issues such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteo-arthritis, dementia, fatigue and depression.
It is estimated that a healthy woman of 50 years now should live well into her 90’s, thus more time is spent without hormones than with them. The aim as we grow older now, is to stay healthier for longer, and to prevent those chronic illnesses that cause increasing debilitation with age. Prevention is much better than cure
Lifestyle issues contribute to all symptoms and we will advise how to adapt your diet, your home environment, and your exercise regimes to optimise your wellbeing.