Menopause can be a challenging time both physically and emotionally for many women.
Menopause is defined as the last period, the average age for this in Australia is 51 years old, however, this is variable. Many women will be in perimenopause for several years leading up to this time. During perimenopause, hormone levels are fluctuating which can cause multiple, complex symptoms for many years. This can be a time of significant distress for some women. Other women won’t find this transition problematic at all.
Common symptoms of perimenopause/menopause include hot flushes, insomnia, mood changes, concentration problems, vaginal dryness and changes in libido. There may also be problems with periods, such as heavy or frequent bleeding. These symptoms may affect the way a woman interacts with her friends and family, and how she functions at work.
What help can we provide?
In the past, women felt they had to just deal with these symptoms and accept a change in their quality of life. However, we now have multiple effective treatment options available, both hormonal and non hormonal. At Femina, we are excited by the growing community awareness around menopause.
It takes time to fully explore a patient’s menopause experience and tailor the appropriate treatment options. For this reason, the menopause appointments are long appointments. Starting treatment for menopausal symptoms is a two stage process. Your first appointment will involve a thorough history and examination, any necessary tests will be organised and discussion of possible treatment options. We encourage patients to take some time to consider what treatment is best suited to them. At the follow-up appointment, results are reviewed and treatment can be prescribed if appropriate.
A menopause appointment is also an opportunity to address preventative health. As women age, the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and dementia increase. Keeping up to date with screening tests is vital. There are also important lifestyle measures that women in midlife should be putting in to place.