In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 52, although women can experience the menopause in their 30s or 40s. If a woman experiences the menopause when she is under 45 years of age, it is known as a premature menopause. The menopause is the end of menstruation or 'periods'. This means a woman's ovaries stop producing an egg every four weeks. She will no longer have a monthly period or be able to have children. This can sometimes stop suddenly, but more likely is that periods become less frequent, with longer intervals in between each one before they stop completely. The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body's sex hormones. The main hormone which declines is oestrogen, and the fall in oestrogen causes the ovaries to not produce an egg and also not regulate the menstrual cycle. The fall in oestrogen level can also cause physical and emotional symptoms including:
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Poor concentration
Management of Menopause
Most women do not need treatment for the menopause, but some treatments are available if symptoms are severe and interfere with day-to-day life. A very useful website is Menopause Matters (click here) which is an "independent website providing up-to-date, accurate information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms and treatment options" and based in Scotland. Please read some of the below leaflets for more information, and make an appointment with your GP if you want to discuss any options further.
We encourage all our patients to be breast aware. Please click here for more information via CoppaFeel charity website.