For many people, the term menopause conjures up imagery of hot flushes and mood swings.
But there is much more to this stage in any woman’s life, and as it is World Menopause Day on 18 October, it is the ideal time to delve deeper into the symptoms.
So, what exactly is menopause? Menopause is a natural part of the ageing process and refers to when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
“The perimenopause and menopause are a natural part of the ageing process and are brought about by natural hormone changes that usually happen between the ages of 45 and 55,” cosmetic doctor and menopause specialist Dr. Shirin Lakhani of Elite Aesthetics (elite-aesthetics.co.uk) explained. “It can be an extremely unsettling and worrying time for women.”
The signs of the menopause vary hugely from one woman to the next, as does their severity. The main symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, loss of libido, painful sex, and vaginal dryness, as well as incontinence and uterine prolapse.
Dr. Lakhani noted that women who are going through the menopause or perimenopause should continue to take contraception for a year after their last period because they are still fertile whilst having periods, albeit often irregular ones.
And she urged anyone experiences some or all of the menopause symptoms to make an appointment with their doctor.
“There are a number of ways in which we can support someone going through the menopause. Firstly, greater awareness of the treatments that are available for menopause symptoms is key,” the expert continued. “For example, many women find that the menopause negatively impacts their sex life. You can absolutely continue to have sex during and after the menopause, however, the symptoms can often make sex more painful and less pleasurable, which is why many women find that it negatively affects their sex lives so much. Yet, there is a number of effective treatments available to treat the symptoms associated with sexual dysfunction.”Internet Explorer Channel Network