October is Menopause Awareness month.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Menopause Society have designated October as World Menopause Awareness Month. Once a very taboo topic, menopause is now having the platform it deserves to help women get the support they need. This natural transition in a woman's life can cause some very undesirable and often life-changing physiological and psychological changes, which are often hard to deal with.

Women reach menopause when they have not had a period for 12 months; this usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 but can also happen much earlier or later. Symptoms can start much earlier before a woman’s period stops but can also continue long after.

Symptoms often include

  • Irregular periods
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during sex

These symptoms affect the daily life, work and relationships of woman who often report on being frustrated, depressed, and feeling like they are losing control of their life. Having a healthy balanced diet, exercising, and looking after your mental well-being can help elevate some symptoms but many women will need medical assistance for treatments such as HRT or even surgery.

If you feel that menopause is affecting your life you should make an appointment with your GP to discuss the available support/treatments. There are also many women’s support groups and website solely dedicated to helping woman going through the menopause. You are not alone on this journey.

By Dr Julie Brooks, PhD

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