Where do you start with menopause advice? Read any menopause forum on-line and so many women talk about very different experiences when seeking advice for menopause symptoms. Thankfully, the NHS does have some excellent GPs and consultants and if you are not receiving the sort advice that you feel you should there are always private recommendations.
It is important to be able to trust what your menopause doctor in the UK is telling you so that you can be best prepared for the hormonal changes that affect all women , mostly from the mid-40s onwards.
What is the menopause?
Menopause – and the phase before called peri-menopause – is when the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone naturally reduce in all women. This usually starts in the early 40s.
The hormones decrease over time and they do undulate over many years but the end result is that oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels drop. These hormones do not return.
At the same time, cortisol (stress hormone) levels increase.
Symptoms of menopause
According to the British Menopause Society National Survey, 75% of women normally experience prominent menopause symptoms. These are the indicators for early treatment plans so that further complications could be controlled.
This number of women also shows how many of them are affected in terms of quality of life if the symptoms get severe. In fact, 50% of women have expressed worry as their family life is negatively impacted due to mood swings, physical pain, weak bones, constant irritation and emotional instability.
In addition, 50% say that their sex life has been affected due to a loss of libido, while 36% say that their social lives have become more limited during the menopause.
Considering these facts, it is recommended by experts that women seek help from a menopause doctor in the UK. They also suggest remaining aware of potential symptoms before the menopause, in a phase called peri-menopause, as well as post-menopause.
Menopause refers to the cessation of periods and happens on average when women are aged 51. Peri-menopause often happens in the early to mid-40s, while post-menopause is the rest of a woman’s life.
You will probably know of the more well-known symptoms, including: these:
- Hot flushes
- Brain fog
- Night sweats
- Heavy & irregular periods
- Mood swings
Lesser known symptoms of menopause:
- Itchy skin
- Low libido
- Loss of confidence
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
Sport and menopause symptoms:
- Weight gain, often around the middle
- Reduced metabolism
- Muscle loss and weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Reduced skeletal mass
- Saddle sores – caused my drier and thinner skin/membranes
- Low motivation
- Joint pain
- Slower pace
- Slower recovery
- Low confidence
How to treat menopause symptoms
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a common and increasingly popular treatment. This treatment method is usually efficient for helping to balance the hormonal changes in the body. It isn’t a “cure” but more a way to relieve symptoms.
If you can afford private treatment, you are likely to receive a more customised HRT approach, but even without this more personalised approach it is usually possible to find a good solution to give relief from hormone imbalances.
Not all women can take HRT, especially those with a history of certain types of breast cancer, but the number of women who can is growing all the time.
There are lots of alternative therapies, too, and it’s worth asking other women for their experiences as well as looking for advice on-line, especially on dedicated forums.