Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. Normally this happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Before your periods stop completely, they may become irregular and less frequent which is called peri-menopause.
The symptoms related to menopause are a result of lower hormone levels including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These include hot flushes, night sweats, disturbed sleep and mood changes. Vaginal dryness and lower libido are also common.
If you think you may be approaching the menopause, you should seek advice from your GP on how to minimise these symptoms and their impact on your health.
Hormone Replacement Therapy is the most effective way to manage troublesome symptoms by supplementing the declining hormone levels and allowing more time for a woman to transition between the two stages of her life.
The exact dose and duration of HRT will vary from one individual to another depending on their unique circumstances and symptoms. The doctor has to assess the benefits and risks for each patient to determine the best treatment style, duration and dose.
Apart from stabilising your hormone levels, HRT provides additional cardiovascular health protection and improved bone density which is equally important during this time.
Lifestyle changes such as eating well, exercising and looking after your mental wellbeing can also help and complement the medication prescribed by your doctor. Whilst going through the menopause is a natural process for every woman, HRT can effectively manage the majority of symptoms and improve overall physical health, not to mention your quality of life.