If you’re struggling with the symptoms of menopause, you are not alone. According to the Australasian Menopause Society, the majority of women will have at least some symptoms and for most women these symptoms will last for 5 to 10 years.
The symptoms of menopause are a result of changing hormone levels, in particular a reduction in oestrogen, the main sex hormone in women. In the time leading up to menopause (when you have your last menstrual period), oestrogen levels can vary and your periods can become irregular.
The symptoms of menopause will vary from one woman to the next but can include:
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Difficulties sleeping
- Joint pain
- Anxiety or mood changes
- Vaginal dryness or discomfort
- An overactive bladder
- Crawling or itchy skin
For some women, these symptoms are relatively mild and easy to cope with, while for others symptoms may be severe and can interfere with daily life. This will depend somewhat on whether you went through menopause naturally (which occurs on average at around 51 years of age) or due to surgery or chemotherapy.
The management of your symptoms will vary according to your individual circumstances and needs. There are a number of options available, including lifestyle changes (such as diet, exercise, smoking cessation and mindfulness), natural and complementary therapies, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other (non-hormonal) medications.
If the symptoms of menopause are bothering you, speak with your doctor. They can explain the options available and work out which would be best for you.
For more information: