Most women go through it between the ages of 45 and 55, but symptoms can begin months before your periods stop and last for a few years afterwards.
Premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), is when a woman goes through the menopause before she reaches 40. This affects around 1% of women.
What are the symptoms?
Most women experience menopause symptoms. Some can be severe and affect your everyday life.
These can include:
- hot flushes
- night sweats
- mood swings and anxiety
- vaginal dryness
- difficulty sleeping
- losing interest in sex
- difficulty remembering things and concentrating.
When should I talk to a GP?
Speak to a GP when you are struggling with symptoms or if you are experiencing them before you are 45 years old.
A GP can usually decide if you’re menopausal after discussing them.
If you are under 45, they may do a blood test to measure your hormone levels.
What treatments are available?
There are several treatments and lifestyle changes that can help ease symptoms, such as:
- hormone replacement therapy (HRT) including tablets, implants, creams, pessaries and gels which replace oestrogen
- vaginal moisturisers and lubricants to ease vaginal dryness
- clonidine – a non-hormonal medication that can help with hot flushes
- regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet
- stopping smoking and drinking less alcohol
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – a talking therapy that can help with anxiety and low mood.
Find more in-depth information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment: