The menopause is the time of life when someone's periods stop, officially diagnosed when there has been no menstrual period for 12 months. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and in the UK, with the average age of menopause being 51. Some may experience early menopause - when the menstrual cycle stops before the age of 45.
Those born as female are born with up to three million eggs. These are gradually lost throughout their life with most eggs dying off through a process known as atresia. Only a small percentage are actually lost to ovulation. On average, those born as female have an average of 400,000 eggs when entering their first cycle - reducing to around 10,000 by the time the menopause starts.
When the menopause starts, eggs become resistant to a reproductive follicle-stimulating hormone known as FSH which dramatically reduces the production of oestrogen. This is believed to be the cause of the symptoms associated with the menopause.
Sometimes, conditions such as cancer, where chemotherapy may be given, or surgery where the removal of the ovaries is required, can induce early menopause. This can result in more severe symptoms.
Hot flushes/night sweats.
Concentration and memory problems.
Mood changes and anxiety.
As the menopause is a natural part of the ageing process among most people born as female, treatments are focused on managing signs and symptoms. There are a range of treatments to help relieve pain, symptoms and help to prevent chronic conditions that may occur.
Surgical options – such as the MonaLisa Touch®.
Pharmacological options – such as Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Mental Health support options such as Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are often helpful for conditions such as stress and anxiety which can be common during the menopause.
Lifestyle options - such as diet, exercise and sleep adjustments can all help, too.
Herbal options – such as red clover, black cohosh, oil of evening primrose. However, if you wish to trial these options, they may take up to three months to work and you must ensure you have informed your GP or pharmacist that you are using these products.
For advice and support, take a look at some of our articles on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the menopause, the symptoms and what to expect.
Whatever menopause advice you need, you’ll find a handy hub of information, videos and courses all now available on the Benenden Health app.
Courses to guide you through every stage and symptom, such as spotting the early signs and managing your symptoms at work.
Live events with medical experts who can answer your questions and talk about the effect menopause can have on things like sleep and sex.
Informative videos covering a range of topics and and signposting where to go for further support.
Explore how you can manage and treat the symptoms of the menopause. Read our 3 suggested treatment options and 4 ways you can manage mild symptoms.
Key questions on how the menopause effects mental wellbeing answered. Discover why going through the menopause can affect your mood and 7 actionable tips on ways to tackle low mood.
Learn about the 4 key stages of the menopause, the typical symptoms of premenopause, perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
Heard of a female friend or family member going through the menopause but have no idea what it means or how you can support? Become equipped with knowledge on the menopause with this key information.
A recent survey of UK employers indicated that 3 in 10 team members had suffered poor health due to the menopause. Find out what employers can do to help and why it matters that employers are offering support.
Both employees and employers agree there is still a lot of stigma around menopause in the workplace, with stark differences, depending on age, in the number of those who identify as female say they would feel comfortable discussing menopause and asking for support.
Did you know that CBT, a type of therapy, has an evidence base to support hot flushes and night sweats?
Benenden Health members can access mental health support whenever you need it with our 24/7 mental health helpline.
You’ll be put straight through to a qualified counsellor who can provide immediate emotional support and signposting for menopausal health concerns.
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