The menopause is the stage in a woman's life where you stop having periods and are no longer able to have children. The early stages of the menopause begin when your oestrogen levels start to decline which affects your menstrual cycle and the hormone levels within your body.
The decreasing levels of oestrogen can then produce various symptoms and these changes may start to occur up to ten years before you actually reach the menopause. Your periods will gradually start to become less frequent over a number of months or years but in some cases they can just stop quite suddenly.
Most women will start to experience some symptoms of the menopause from around the age of 45 and this stage is called the peri-menopause. However, some women will go through premature menopause and as many as 1 in 100 women will reach this stage before the age of forty.
Some women will not experience too many issues with this stage in their life and may not require any treatment if their symptoms are manageable. However, others may find it particularly difficult and three quarters of women say that they experience at least some problems that are severe enough to interfere with their every day life. The type & severity of symptoms, therefore, will vary from woman to woman but there is treatment available that can help to alleviate these symptoms.
is a natural part of the ageing process and the average age of women in the UK reaching the menopause is 51.
The main treatment for symptoms of the menopause is in the form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT involves replacing the oestrogen that your body is no longer producing by taking tablets, having an implant, using skin patches or applying a gel to the skin. The two main types of HRT are:
Oestrogen Only HRT which is often used for women who have already had a hysterectomy (removal of the womb).
Combined HRT which combines both oestrogen and progestogen and is usually used for women who still have their womb.
There are both risks and benefits of HRT and Mr Curtis will go through these in detail with you so that you can decide on the best course of treatment for you personally. More information about hormone replacement therapy is available on our dedicated page here.