Menopause and its transition is the biggest hormonal upheaval since puberty and is often a traumatic part of a woman's life. Internationally renowned hormone expert Dr Erika Schwartz describes it as
“the menopause experience changes one’s sense of self. Lots of little things go wrong and then suddenly, one day, you find you are not the same person anymore”.
What is the menopause?
The menopause is when you stop having periods and are no longer able to get pregnant naturally. Typically your periods will become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether, but sometimes they can stop suddenly. The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body's sex hormones, which occurs as you get older.
The menopause is a normal part of ageing, but perimenopause symptoms can start as early as 35. Most women will experience changes from their early 40s with the average transition taking 7 years, but it is not uncommon for the change to last 15 years. In the UK the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51.
What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
Most women will experience perimenopausal symptoms, which can be severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities. Common symptoms include:
Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex.
Low mood swings or anxiety.
Reduced sex drive (libido).
Problems with memory and concentration.
Ignoring the menopause process can have a lifelong effect on your health:
Increased risk of heart attack and strokes.
Increased risk of cancer rates for breast, colon.
Increased risk of bone fractures from osteoporosis.
Impact on relationships due to painful sex or reduced sexual sensitivity / loss of desire.
Loss of interest in work, relationships and life in general - caused by a loss of mental sharpness, foggy brain, tiredness and a feeling of can't be bothered.
Full blown depression.
Whilst a few lucky women may find yoga, supplements, avocado or chia seeds help - for the majority these approaches on their own will not significantly improve their symptoms or quality of life.
Will this happen to you?
Yes it will, it is normal and your genetics and lifestyle will determine what symptoms you will suffer as you pass through the menopause and age. Take a moment to reflect on your close family and what their experienced in their later years.
What can you do to reduce perimenopause symptoms and lead a healthier life?
Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet is a starting point, but overwhelming evidence shows that keeping your hormones in balance is the best way to keeping you strong, mentally agile and sexually active.
Clinical evidence shows that starting Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) early significantly reduces symptoms and improves your long term health.
BHRT must not be confused with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), available from your GP, which has been out of favour since the early 2000s because of the associated side-effects and risks with breast cancer. HRT is a combination drug that has both estrogens and a progestin. The estrogens are derived from the urine from pregnant mares and the progestin is medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic hormone not found in nature.
BHRT use hormones from nature which have the same chemical structure as your hormones, derived from specially prepared soya and yam, and do not have any known side-effects or risks.
Who can we treat with BHRT?
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is a natural replacement that behaves in the same way as your depleted hormones restoring balance, vitality and health. Using BHRT we can help:
Women with hormonal imbalance at any age, but mainly between the age of 35-65.
You must start within 10 years of your last period or 62.
Older women suffering urinary incontinence.
Women with PMT.
Women with adult acne.
Women suffering hair thinning and loss.
Fully supported by the famous Marion Gluck Clinic in London we can refer onwards for more complicated hormonal imbalances such as: