Guide to Menopause

Are you going through the menopause?

Are you suffering from hot flushes? What are the risks of HRT? Why do you gain weight during the menopause? When does the menopause start?

These are just a few of the many questions women ask about the menopause.

This comprehensive guide to the menopause is here to help you. It aims to answer any questions you may have about the menopause and dispel a few myths as well!

This guide is aimed at women who are approaching the menopause, going through the menopause or have experienced this process. If any of this applies to you then we hope that this guide provides you with enough information and guidance about an important stage in your life.

Learn more about the menopause

The menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life which is characterised by a series of physical and psychological changes. These effects vary from one woman to the next with some experiencing only mild symptoms whereas others have the full range of symptoms.

Why does that happen?

That is difficult to answer as every woman reacts differently to the menopause. But this guide will help you to learn more about the menopause, the short term effects and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Logical, structured approach to the menopause

In order to help you this guide is arranged as thus:

This information includes a look at what the menopause is; the role of female hormones; the signs of approaching menopause; the effects and health risks of menopause; treatment and facts and fiction surrounding menopause.

We have included an FAQs section which contains a list of the commonly asked questions and answers about menopause.

Plus a glossary of medical jargon used in this guide. Any jargon used will be accompanied by a short description but if not then a full explanation is provided in the glossary.

Any organisations, resources, support groups etc are featured in the links section.

Menopause or ‘the change’

Find out more about why the menopause is known as ‘the change’and why many women are apprehensive about this stage in their lives.

Visit what is the menopause section.

The influence of hormones

The female hormones play an important part in the menopause.

Changes to these hormones indicate a shift from reproductive to non-reproductive status which manifests themselves as a range of physical and emotional effects.

Find out why these happen in our female hormones and menopause section.

Early menopause

Some women start the menopause at an early age. The average age for the menopause is 52 but there are women who for a variety of reasons experience the menopause before they are 40.

This is often known as ‘premature ovarian failure’ but there are differences between this and premature menopause.

Find out more in our premature menopause section.

Signs of the menopause

There are various indicators of an approaching menopause.

These include lighter and/or irregular periods, hot flushes and mood swings.

Find out more about these and the short term effects of the menopause in our menopause signs and menopause symptoms sections.

Long term risks of the menopause

Hormonal changes associated with the menopause can have long term effects.

The short term effects such as hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia are unpleasant but disappear after a period of time.

But there are long term risks which have a dramatic impact upon your health. These include osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke.

Find out more about these and what steps can be taken to reduce the risk in our health risks of menopause section.

Treating the menopause

There are various forms of treatment available which can ease the symptoms of the menopause. These include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), antidepressants and synthetic hormones such as tibolone.

But they are not without their risks especially HRT which has attracted a great deal of attention over the last few years.

Find out more about these in our menopause treatment section.

There are a few measures you can adopt which will help during this time. These include a healthy diet, exercise and nutritional supplements such as calcium.

Find out more about these and other similar measures in our menopause self help section.

Managing the menopause

There are women who dread the thought of the menopause and consider it to be something which has to be endured. Whilst it can be a difficult stage there are things you can do to make this as easy as possible.

Find out what these are in our surviving the menopause section.

Menopause facts and fiction

There is a wealth of information with every medical process and menopause is no different. But this information can be less than factually correct.

Old wives tales or myths develop over time and it can be difficult to determine between what is true and what is a fabrication.

Find out the truth in our menopause myths section.

Questions about the menopause

If you have a particular question about the menopause and are unable to find the answer within the guide then visit our menopause FAQs section.

Final word about menopause

The concluding part of this guide contains a set of explanations in respect of medical terminology used throughout this guide, plus useful sources of further information.

Find out more in our glossary section.

Learn more about the menopause

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