The Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, when your body has lower hormones levels and your periods stop.
Perimenopause is when you experience symptoms of the menopause before your periods have stopped.
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
Symptoms vary for each individual and can last for different periods of time, and some symptoms can last after you have been through the menopause.
Things to help with the symptoms of menopause
Take supplements such as calcium and vitamin D, or enrich your diet with calcium rich foods to keep your bones healthy and reduce your risk of osteoarthritis
Maintain a healthy balance diet
Speak to other women going through the menopause
Try to reduce your stress levels
Do not smoke
Reduce your alcohol intake
Use vaginal moisturising creams for dryness
Treatment for the menopause
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.
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