What is menopause?
Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. The average age in the UK to reach the menopause is 51 year old.
It can sometimes happen earlier naturally. Or for reasons such as surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy), cancer treatments like chemotherapy, or a genetic reason. Sometimes the reason is unknown.
Perimenopause is when you have symptoms before your periods have stopped. You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.
The change in hormones in menopause and perimenopause can cause a variety of symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, increased urination, urinary incontinence and irregular periods. These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and carry on afterwards.
The drop in hormones can influence many systems in your body including your bones, heart and brain. Hormone replacement therapy is a range of treatments that can top-up the hormone levels to help with your symptoms and protect your bones, brain and heart. You can read more about it here:
Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can have a big impact on your life, including relationships and work.
There are things you can do to help with symptoms. There are also medicines that can replace the missing hormones and help relieve your symptoms.