Menopause is a completely natural process and usually marks the end of your menstrual cycle.
It primarily affects women in their late 40s to early 50s but can happen sooner, especially if you have had chemotherapy or surgery.
It's diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period.
Menopause is a normal biological process.
But it can have a huge effect on your life, notably with relationships and employment. It can cause anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes, and irregular periods.
Three out of five working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms, say it has a negative impact on them at work while nearly two-thirds said they were less able to concentrate (1).
There are many effective treatments available though, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.
As with so many health conditions, a decent diet and regular exercise will help. This includes:
• Keep to regular sleep patterns
• Eat a healthy diet, with calcium-rich food
• Protect those bones by exercising regularly to reduce the strain on your joints
• Try some relaxation therapy – yoga and meditation might help
Stop smoking and reduce your alcohol intake.
Menopause can have a mighty impact on your mental health. Please do not hesitate to contact your GP if you are suffering acute mood swings or depression. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is just one of the methods used to help.
Is HRT for me?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for most going through menopause. Your GP will discuss any risks with you.
There are different types and doses of HRT and working with your doctor, you should be able to find the treatment that helps improve your symptoms.
Perimenopause precedes menopause and can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms that sometimes last for several years. These include irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances.
If you think you are experiencing the perimenopause, contact your GP.
Who can help?
The British Menopause Society produces a list of specialists in the condition. Visit their site:
For trusted details on symptoms and treatment, go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/
We also recommend the Menopause Matters website
For those identifying as LGBTQ, you might also wish to visit