1. The average of menopause in Australia is 51. Symptoms of menopause can last 5-10 years.

 

  1. Common symptoms include hot flushes, dry skin, irritability and vaginal dryness. Every women however, has a different experience when it comes to the peri-menopausal period and symptoms can vary from woman to woman.

 

  1. Most of the time menopause is a clinical diagnosis – we do not rely on blood tests to make the diagnosis (we may however, if a woman is particularly young or the symptoms are inconsistent). Instead, we rely on the symptoms the woman describes and in particular what is happening to the menstrual cycle. If it has been 12 months since the last period then you are deemed to have “gone through menopause.”
  2. Not all women with perimenopausal symptoms require hormone replacement therapy (HRT) though some do. There are many ways to manage menopausal symptoms from lifestyle interventions like regular exercise and caffeine and alcohol reduction to some antidepressant therapies that can help with hotflushes to hormone replacement therapy. There are so many options for managing symptoms – however, it is suggested you speak to your GP or doctor before commencing any of the natural therapies that might encounter – many of the natural therapies marketed for menopause (such as black cohosh) have no evidence behind them and can have very serious side effects.

 

  1. When a patient presents to the GP with menopausal symptoms it’s really a trigger to get on top of preventative health issues; is cervical cancer and breast cancer screening up to date? If the patient is over 50 have they done their bowel cancer screening test? Has their cardiovascular risk been calculated (which involves taking the blood pressure and checking cholesterol and for diabetes)? We also discuss osteoporosis risk at this time (and how the patient can reduce risk). A woman raising menopausal symptoms is a big trigger for lots of preventative health discussion.
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