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Menopause

Understand your menopause, so you can own everyday.

women looking and smiling
 

Menopause

Understand your menopause, so you can own everyday.

women looking and smiling

Common symptoms

Mood swings, low mood & anxiety

The lowering levels of oestrogen and progesterone that you experience during menopause can cause changes to your mood and may mean you become affected by things that wouldn't normally affect you, such as irritability, mood swings, low mood and anxiety.

These changes may cause you to feel anxious, low about yourself, and you may experience your mood shifting in a short space of time. 

Additionally, symptoms associated with menopause like trouble sleeping, hot flushes, and life changes could contribute to feelings of anxiety, low mood, and mood swings. 

If you are struggling with your mood during menopause, reach out to your GP for help.

 

Vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy, also known as Atrophic Vaginitis or Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). Vaginal atrophy, refers to the thinning, inflammation and drying of the vaginal walls, which is a common symptom of perimenopause. 

Most of the time, vaginal atrophy is caused by a decrease in oestrogen levels, and you may experience: 

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain or burning when you wee
  • Pain during sex
  • Spotting or blood after sex

For more information on what vaginal atrophy is, symptoms and what you can do to help, read our full article here.

 

Hot flushes

Hot flushes are one of the main symptoms that we associate with menopause and occurs when you feel a sudden rush of heat along your upper body, mainly in the chest, neck, and face. 

These can leave you feeling frustrated, especially if they stop you sleeping or interrupt your daily life! Try out some of the lifestyle changes we outline in our article to help manage your hot flushes.

 

Hair loss

Oestrogen plays a role in promoting hair growth and maintaining the health of our hair. As oestrogen decreases during perimenopause, some women may experience hair thinning or hair loss. 

This can also be affected by stress, genetics, and other health conditions, so it's best to check in with your GP if you are experiencing these changes with your hair.

 

Brain fog

A very common symptom of menopause, brain fog can leave you feeling like your brain is made of ‘cotton wool’ and often comes hand in hand with memory issues. You may find that you're more forgetful and struggle to retain information.

For more information on menopause, and whether you may be experiencing symptoms of menopause, read more here.

 

Can't find your symptoms? Read our comprehensive list of the 34 main menopause signs and symptoms to help you understand what you might be experiencing.

kate-meno-1

Kate Pleace

Menopause Mandate nurse

My goal is to help women feel less alone

Our expert answers

We’ve partnered with Kate to talk through the stages of menopause and give some advice that may help you through this important life stage. 

Perimenopause and transition

"On average, perimenopause lasts for around four years, although it can go on for up to 12 years for some women. You’ll likely begin to notice signs of perimenopause in your forties or even your thirties. When hormones start to fluctuate and change, periods can be regular or become irregular. These signs of menopause can last for a few weeks, months or years.

Symptoms vary but can include hot flushes, vaginal and urinary symptoms such as vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and frequent UTIs. You may also experience cognitive symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, joint pain, and dry skin.

Menopause is officially reached 12 months and 1 day after a woman's last menstrual period."

For more information about what the menopause actually is, read here.

 

Premature menopause (before 40)

"Premature menopause is rare and estimated to affect 1% of women under the age of 40 years and 0.1% of women under the age of 30 years. However, that’s still thousands of women that might not be getting the support they need. 

With a personal experience of premature menopause, Menopause Mandate Nurse Kate, has helped us shine the light on the difficulty of this menopause journey.

A premature menopause before the age of 40, the difference between Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and menopause is that for some women the ovaries don't completely shut down so there is a small chance of conception at around 5%. Periods can continue but most likely become irregular or stop.

For some women experiencing a medical or surgical menopause the symptoms can be more severe because the hormones are taken away abruptly. It is important if you are having surgery or medical treatment that is likely to induce a menopause, you discuss this with your specialist doctor as a plan can be put in place regarding treatment before procedure."

Wondering whether menopause is different with endometriosis? Find out here.

 

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