The menopause and peri-menopause
There has been a lot of publicity about the menopause over the last couple of years. Primarily, we want to reassure you it is a clinical area that GPs and the primary care team have always dealt with and are fully trained in. However, we do recognize a modernization of this area for patients and indeed many women (and their partners) are now often able to diagnose themselves or are well aware that hormones may be playing a role in this part of their life. It is a positive thing that many patients are very informed when they come to speak to us, and we would like to support this even further.
Here is some useful information and links to helpful websites that may help your own research into and understanding of the menopause as well as some forms that can be very helpful for you to complete and bring with you to an appointment about the menopause:
Some definitions from NHS UK:
The menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
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.
The perimenopause is when you have symptoms before your periods have stopped. You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.
Menopause and perimenopause can cause symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods. These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and carry on afterwards.
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.
A simple overview
Excellent, more informative websites
Menopause Matters, menopausal symptoms, remedies, advice
British Menopause Society | For healthcare professionals and others specialising in post
reproductive health (thebms.org.uk)
A useful app for the menopause
Please download this Menopause symptoms questionnaire and send back to us in advance of your appointment, or bring it on the day.
Please also fill out this climacteric (menopause scale) at the beginning of your contact with us about this topic (even if you think it is unnecessary) as it is really helpful to compare with later on even if there is no prescribing treatment.