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Everything you need to know about the Menopause

Every thing you need to know about the menopause

The menopause and how The Doctors Laser Clinic can help

 

What is Menopause? 

Menopause refers to the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and the changes that occur before and up to when you stop having periods. Whilst it usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, it can happen earlier naturally or due to other reasons. These reasons could include surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or uterus (hysterectomy), treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy, genetics or sometimes an unknown reason. Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Understanding the diverse symptoms associated with this transition can help manage them more effectively.

 

The Transition to Menopause

It is important to realise that menopause is not a disease or disorder, it is a natural process that is part of ageing. Whilst the actual definition of menopause is 12 months on from a woman’s last period, the transition to this point can be associated with many changes in their period and is called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.

During this time, there may be many other transitions in life, which alongside perimenopause or menopause, can have a big impact on everyday life. Menopausal transition or perimenopause can begin at any age but is usually between the ages of 45 and 55.

How long this lasts also depends on many factors – lifestyle factors such as smoking, race, and ethnicity. Perimenopause affects everyone differently as there can be many changes in the body, particularly with levels of oestrogen and progesterone production, the primary hormones made by the ovaries.

 

Symptoms of Menopause

During perimenopause, you may experience many symptoms or none at all – it affects everyone differently. Symptoms usually begin in the months or years leading up to when periods fully stop and often, though not always, starts with a shift in the normal pattern of your periods, for example they might become irregular. Later, periods will stop completely.

There may be both mental health and physical symptoms that are brought on by menopause and perimenopause.

Physical symptoms

  • Hot flushes and chills – sudden feelings of hot or cold in the face, neck and chest that may be accompanied by dizziness
  • Problems sleeping – can be due to night sweats, and lead to tiredness and irritability during the day
  • Palpitations – heartbeat becomes more noticeable
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Aching muscles and joint pain
  • Changes in body shape and weight gain
  • Itchy and dry skin, thinning hair
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Itching or discomfort during sex
  • Vaginal dryness and pain
  • Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Mental health symptoms

  • Mood changes – low mood, mood swings, anxiety and low self-esteem
  • Brain fog – problems with memory or concentration

These symptoms can last for months or even years and can change over time and there will often be changes in your period before they end. Some of the more common symptoms that may also be associated with changes in midlife are changes in your period, hot flushes, bladder control and vaginal health.

Period changes

The main changes to your period may be that they are no longer regular. There may also be more or less bleeding, but if there are any more significant changes such as heavy bleeding, spotting, periods lasting longer than a week or very frequently, then please do consult a doctor.

Hot flushes

Hot flushes are a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part of the body (neck and arms) or sometimes all over the body. They can be mild or wake you up in the night. These are often termed night sweats. The majority of hot flushes last between half a minute to 10 minutes.

Bladder control

Stress urinary incontinence or simply the unintentional passing of urine can be a symptom of menopause. You may experience a sudden urge to urinate or have a lack of control of when urine leaks.

Vaginal health

You may notice the vagina becoming drier during menopause, along with discomfort during sexual intercourse. Your sex drive may also decrease during this time.

 

Menopause advice in Norfolk

 Here at the Laser Clinic, we offer a face-to-face consultation through Dr Kathy Kestin’s Menopause service to discuss your symptoms and create a personalised plan to work through this important time with you.

Dr Kathy Kestin was a full-time GP in rural Norfolk for 24 years before evolving away to work with patients in her Menopause Clinic. She has always had a special interest in women’s health, especially menopause.

Some of the procedures she offers include the Femilift Laser for vaginal rejuvenation, where tiny laser beams are focused on the area around the vagina, promoting new cell growth and tightening the area. This can also help relieve mild stress urinary incontinence.

As the only clinic in the East of England that offers the Femilift Laser procedure, we are uniquely placed to help patients who are suffering from some of these symptoms, regardless of whether they are menopause related or not.

If you are in Norwich, Norfolk, or indeed further afield and want to know how we can help with menopausal symptoms or just need menopause advice, please feel free to give us a call to book a consultation. You can request a menopause consultation here.

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