Menopause and perimenopause
What is the menopause?
Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.
It can sometimes happen earlier than 45 naturally or as a result of surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy) or cancer treatments.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is when you have symptoms before your periods have stopped.
You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.
What are the symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause?
Your periods may be irregular and different to what you are used to until they stop completely
Muscle and joint pain
Change in libido
Changes to your skin
Night sweats and difficulty sleeping
Mood swings, anxiety and low mood
What is the treatment for the menopause and perimenopause?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT comes in the forms of gels, sprays, tablets, implants or skin patches and work by replacing the oestrogen hormone in your body.
If you haven't had a hysterectomy and still have your uterus (womb), you will also need to take progesterone to protect the lining of the uterus. Progesterone can be taken in the form of tablets, a coil or in a combined patch with oestrogen.
Gynaecologist Consultant, Evi Bakali is an expert in menopause and perimenopause management.