Menopause is when your periods stop. Your ovaries no longer produce eggs and because of this, your hormone levels fall (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone). The medical definition of menopause is no periods for one year.
The average age of the menopause in the UK is 51 years. Therefore on average, the last period occurs around age 50. If the menopause occurs before the age of 45, it is called an early menopause. If it happens under 40 years old, it is classed as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency and this can run in families.
This is the time before the menopause when you are still having periods, but you may experience menopausal symptoms. Periods typically change during the perimenopause and may be more / less frequent and / or heavier / lighter.
During perimenopause, hormone levels fluctuate. For some people this can cause mild or brief symptoms only. For others, symptoms can occur for many months or even years before their periods stop. Symptoms of the perimenopause may start at around 45 years of age.
Symptoms of perimenopause vary widely and can include: changes in periods, hot flushes, night sweats, mood changes, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, headaches, loss of libido and joint pains.
Please see these resources for more information on menopause and peri-menopause:
- Women’s Health Concern
- Balance Menopause
- British Menopause Society
- Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- NHS website
- Patient Information
Hormone Replacement Therapy
If you have not had HRT before, you will need to book an appointment with a doctor to discuss this.
If you already take HRT and need more, please fill in this form to request a repeat prescription.
You will need to enter your blood pressure, height and weight. Many people have their own machines to measure blood pressure. You may wish to consider buying your own machine. We would recommend an arm machine (not wrist) as it is more accurate. We currently use Omron brand but most machines work very well. This may be a small cost now for something you use over many years. If you are unable to measure your blood pressure at home, please book an appointment with the health care assistant, or ask at reception to borrow our machine to use on the premises. (You will need to leave a £20 refundable deposit in cash for this)
HRT supply issues
There are currently shortages of some types of HRT. Please see this link for updates.