It comes us all, but not every woman knows the signs of menopause to look out for.
With that in mind, Dr Rosemary Leonard, woman&home’s regular health columnist and author of Menopause: The Answers, offers her menopause symptoms checklist…
This includes not having a clue when the next one is going to be., and when you do get one it may be horrifically heavy or lighter than usual.
Hot flushes and sweats
Some women get one and not the other during the menopause. Some women get them frequently 24/7, others less so, and some just at night.
This symptom may be due to night sweats, but sometimes occurs on its own and for no apparent reason.
Loss of libido
This often happens about a year after periods have finished when your oestrogen levels have fallen to rock bottom.
Often accompanied by sudden bouts of feeling irrational, anxious or stressed.
Many women suddenly find they have problems concentrating when they hit the menopause.
Sometimes with nausea.
They shouldn’t be swollen, though. If they are, don’t blame the menopause.
A change in your skin
With all your skin feeling more dry than before. You realise you need a moisturiser for a “more mature” skin.
A change in pubic hair
Your pubic hair may be thinner than before, and you don’t need to shave your armpits quite so often. On the flip side, you may have some upper-lip fuzz that needs attention.
Experiencing the symptoms of menopause? Possible remedies include…
HRT has pros and cons. It isn’t necessarily the baddie it’s often made out to be, and can be the best way of helping women having a difficult time, particularly with hot flushes. It can also help with osteoporosis, a fall in libido and help women feel “normal” again. However, it can very slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and stroke so women already at risk need to use it with care.
These are made in a lab from yam and soya, and are identical in structure to the ones made by the body. However, there is no evidence that these are any “safer” than other types of HRT.
Grapeseed and black cohosh supplements may help with hot flushes in the short-term (no more than six months).
Agnus Castus, another herbal medicinal product, can also help perimenopausal women troubled by mood swings or PMS.
Only buy MHRA-registered products (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).