Menopause is a naturally occurring event in a woman’s life when menstruation (periods) stop. Before this happens there can be up to several years of change in how frequently periods come and during this time menopausal symptoms can develop – this is called the perimenopause. In the perimenopause, levels of a hormone called oestrogen fluctuate, before eventually falling so low that periods stop.
The change in levels of oestrogen can affect the whole body which can cause widespread menopausal symptoms. Common symptoms include hot flushes and sweats, poor sleep, problems with memory and cognition causing “mental fog”, mood swings, low mood and anxiety, loss of confidence, low libido, palpitations, achy joints, headaches, fatigue, dry skin and hair, hair loss, and vaginal dryness.
Women experience menopausal symptoms to varying degrees with some women not having many symptoms and others having severe symptoms.
The good news is that safe treatments are available to reduce menopausal symptoms and help women have a smooth menopausal journey.