Wellbeing of Women funds vital medical research on the menopause.
All women go through the natural process of menopause, on average at around 51. When your periods stop, your ovaries stop producing eggs and oestrogen levels gradually decline. The process can last anything from two to ten years. Unfortunately, for many, this is a time of anxiety and distress due to side effects caused by the drop in oestrogen. However, help for the symptoms of the menopause is available, including HRT if considered appropriate. Make an appointment to see your GP to discuss the possible options.
“I first started noticing symptoms of the menopause when I was around 45. My Mum started the menopause around the same age, which is quite common in Asian women. First I noticed missing periods, then the hot flushes came. I would go to bed, fall asleep, then be woken by an unpleasant wave of heat rolling up my body. Although it only lasted a few minutes, it left me wide awake. I would then cool right down.
“I went to the GP who confirmed I was going through the peri-menopause and monitored me for a year before starting me on HRT. In the meantime I tried various ‘holistic’ and complementary remedies, but with little success. I have now been on HRT for about six months and have felt some benefits – despite the occasional hot flush, at least I’m able to sleep through the night – but I sometimes forget what I’m saying halfway through a sentence!
“I hate the menopause because it confirms I’m getting older. I feel young – I took part in the 5K for Wellbeing of Women last year – and I’m used to keeping up with an energetic nine-year-old. But I feel I am ageing on the inside and I know my energy levels have dropped. Although the menopause hasn’t really affected my career, I worry that it has affected how much time and energy I have for my family.”