Do you suspect, or know for a fact, that you are heading towards the Menopause? Your first step should always be to approach your GP and at that point take with you any information that backs up what you think; if there is a history of early menopause in your family or any other related issues this would also be a good time to mention them. Your GP will be able to organise a simple blood test and things should progress from there.
Don't worry, it is not the "elephant in the room" that it used to be; there is much more information available nowadays and there is help available to manage symptoms.
The Menopause marks the natural change in our bodies as we pass beyond the childbearing years - but there are also circumstances where ladies experience menopausal symptoms for other reasons.
When some young ladies in their late twenties or thirties are turning their attention to having a baby, there are others for whom that time has passed as they begin an early onset menopause.
Others experience symptoms as a result of drug treatment ot other medical conditions.
For the majority the "Change" will begin in the late 40s/early 50s; a visit to the gp to organise blood tests will confirm this and options for managing symptoms are discussed.
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is currently one of the preferred options, however it is worth noting that HRT seems to go in and out of favour on a regular basis, based on medical studies and research which looks at the benefits and side effects of using it.
There are some ladies for whom HRT is not an option because of their medical history and there are others who just do not want to take it, opting instead for a non-medical approach.
Some ladies are lucky enough to sail through their fifties and beyond with barely a hot flush, but the reality for most ladies is that the dreaded hot flush can be a whole lot more than an occasional inconvenience. Hot flushes can be overwhelming, with ladies using phrases such as "hotter than Hell" or "burning up"; this leads them to experience overwhelm, exhaustion and can be downright embarrassing when the hot flush happens without warning.
Likewise, night sweats can play havoc with sleep patterns, with some ladies stating that they are worse than the daytime hot flushes. In some cases the sweats are so severe that nightclothes and bedding are soaked and have to be changed. Endless nights of broken sleep then contribute to making the other symptoms such as brain fog even worse.
And then, of course, there is the dreaded brain fog: that element of the Menopause which can turn you into a jibbering wreck or a barely functioning zombie!
Of course there are many more symptoms associated with the physical and mental changes experienced at this time of life, but I think that these 3 are probably top of the league.
Other symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Urinary infections
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight change
- Joint pains
For more information, visit the nhs page
Although it affects 50% of the population, did you know that until quite recently the Menopause, sometimes known as The Change, was something of a taboo subject?
Thankfully times are changing as women are more open about sharing their experiences and celebrities speak candidly about how the Menopause has affected them. Also, employers are now supporting their female workforce in dealing with their symptoms whilst at work and recognise the value the ladies bring to the business.
HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy has been prescribed by GPs for many years to help overcome some of the physical and mental symptoms, but it is not suitable for everyone and not everyone wants to take it. HRT is often in the news, sometimes highlighting the benefits of taking it but also there will be reports about negative side effects.
If you are taking HRT and are worried about side effects, or if you believe that you are entering the Menopause, please consult your health professional. Information about the Menopause and treatment is constantly being updated, so please don't think that you have to suffer in silence.
What if you are looking for an alternative to HRT?
If you have started to change your routine for fear of having a "hot one" whilst you are out, if you wake up one or more times every night soaked with sweat, if it feels as if you have swallowed the burning fires of Hell, then let me tell you about my hypnotherapy programme - Menopause Matters.
Menopause Matters: the 4 session program just for you!
Using a tried and tested 4 session program we will address the physical symptoms of the Menopause so that you take back control of your body, your sleep, your identity. We will focus on reducing the warmth of the hot flush but many ladies also report better sleep, a feeling of wellbeing etc over and above all a reduction in the hot flushes. We'll be looking at all aspects of your life to identify any triggers: food and drink, exercise, hobbies, sleep hygiene...
Each of the four sessions will build on the previous one so that your symptoms reduce or disappear in as little as 4 sessions (4 -6 weeks for many ladies as sessions are planned on a weekly basis). You will also have some tasks between sessions to really reinforce what we have done, but don't worry; they are fun, easy and don't take too long!
Alongside the hypnotherapy sessions there will be lots of "life hacks" re diet and exercise so that all aspects of your life improve; entering the Menopause does not have to mean that life becomes dull and boring or that you turn into a zombie!
NB The information on this page does not represent medical advice; if you have any concerns re any aspect of your health it is important that you consult with a medical professional.
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Give me a call to arrange your initial consultation by phone or Zoom so that you can get back on track and regain control.