Menopause and HRT

Menopause occurs when a women's levels of the hormone oestrogen drops, and they no longer have periods.  

 

The average age of menopause is 51 however women can experience menopausal symptoms 10 years prior to this.

 

Oestrogen affects the whole body, so when it's levels drop, it can cause a variety of symptoms which affect your whole body. Eight out of 10 women experience menopausal symptoms and common symptoms include:

 

Hot flushes and sweats 

Changes to your periods

Vaginal dryness and urinary tract infections

Mood disturbances e.g. low mood, anxiety, irritability

Memory problems or 'brain fog'

Palpitations

Low libido 

Muscle/joint pains 

 

These symptoms can be challenging for women. For some women (approximately 25%) they can have a severely negative impact on both their personal and professional lives.

 

Here are some useful resources that discuss menopause further and also highlight options available to some women that may help manage their symptoms including hormone replacement therapy (HRT):

 

There is a good questionnaire on ‘the menopause Dr’ website - Menopause Symptom Sheet (menopausedoctor.co.uk)

and there is also an app (free) where you can record your symptoms and track them should you go on to try HRT balance – a menopause support app by Dr Louise Newson (balance-app.com)

and further information Menopause | Symptoms and Treatment | Patient and Menopause Symptoms - what happens and when : Menopause Matters (this link will open in a new window - popups must be allowed)

 

How to get started on HRT

 

If you call Norwood Medical Centre to discuss menopausal symptoms or HRT with your GP our receptionists will:

 

  1. Direct you to this page to read these useful resources below.

 

  1. Book you in for a bit of an 'MOT' which includes bloods tests* and taking your blood pressure. (This allows us to see if there may be other reasons for your symptoms.)

 

  1. Book you in for an follow up telephone appointment with a GP to go through your results and discuss your options and any questions you may have. 

 

It is really helpful to us if you can have a look at the resources listed below before you speak to your GP. By doing this we hope that you will be more aware of your potential options and empowered to make a healthy choice that is right for you and your symptoms. 

 

Please note that HRT is not contraception therefore, depending on some of the methods, you will need to make sure you continue this. Again, this can be discussed with your GP. 

See below for some good links about contraceptive choices and menopause:

  

* Please note over the age of 45 women will not routinely be offered an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) blood test as it is not helpful in diagnosing natural menopause. 

 



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