The Perimenopause

The menopause doesn’t arrive with a bang on your 50th birthday.  Instead, your body helpful gives you a gentle (or not so gentle) run up.  This is called the peri-menopause.

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The menopause doesn’t arrive with a bang on your 50th birthday.  Instead, your body helpful gives you a gentle (or not so gentle) run up.  This is called the peri-menopause.

Around the age of 45 (but for 1 in 100 women, menopause starts before age 40) the hormone levels will begin to change as your body prepares to release fewer eggs, before stopping altogether.  During the perimenopause you will still be having periods, but they may become irregular.

The trouble with the perimenopause is that it can be difficult to work out what is caused by your changing body and what is, well just life.  It often coincides with a time of your life when you’re juggling work, relationships, children, parents and everything in between.  Many of us are also reluctant to make an appointment to see our GP because we’re feeling ‘a bit off’; some of us don’t realise that the many strange new symptoms we have seen our GP for all actually share one common cause. Often your GP wont realise this either! That’s why the perimenopause needs a specialist’s eye.

Recognising what’s going on, and tackling these symptoms early can prevent more serious problems later on.  On top of that, symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of months to over a decade, and there’s absolutely no reason to put up with them unnecessarily.  No badges are awarded for gritting your teeth.

These are some of the things you may be experiencing.

Physical Effects

  • Changes to your menstrual cycle
  • Hot flushes or night sweats
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Weight gain – particularly around your waist

Psychological Effects

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low mood & tearfulness
  • Brain fog & forgetfulness
  • Irritability

Sexual Effects

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty in arousal or orgasm
  • Loss of interest in sex

We could give you a long list of potential symptoms, and you may have googled some already but the list can be bewildering, terrifying or downright depressing.

Instead, we prefer to talk through what’s going on and work on some solutions.  During your consultation we’ll help you to diagnose the issues and make recommendations.  Some of these may be medical, or it might be some tweaks to your lifestyle that can make a big difference to how you feel.    

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A note on our language

Throughout this website, we use the term women when describing people who experience hormonal symptoms. However, we acknowledge not only those who identify as women require access to menopause and hormone health information. For example, some trans men, non-binary people, intersex people or people with variations in sex characteristics may also experience menopausal symptoms and PMS/PME or PMDD, and we warmly welcome everyone who needs this support in our clinic.

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