Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre

Hailsham Road, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 4JX

Telephone: 01323 833535

sxicb-esx.hmxihc@nhs.net

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Menopause

For the majority of women, reaching the menopause is a natural part of life. Dealing with its effects is something that is now openly talked about, and all women will have a different experience. Many women find that they are managing symptoms of the menopause while balancing busy jobs and lives. Some are also juggling caring for youngsters, teens or elderly relatives. It can be intense.
The average age of the menopause is 51. However, many women have a significant hormonal shift in their 40s, and some notice nothing until their mid 50s. Symptoms are very varied and include:

  • vasomotor symptoms (e.g. hot flushes and sweats)
  • musculoskeletal symptoms (e.g. joint and muscle pain)
  • effects on the mind (e.g. low mood, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog)
  • urogenital symptoms (e.g. vaginal dryness, urinary infections)
  • sexual difficulties (e.g. low sexual desire).

If you are over 45, healthy, and have a selection of these symptoms you don’t need a blood test to tell you that you are perimenopausal or post menopausal.

USUAL PATTERN OF PERIODS you are a

young woman

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IRREGULAR PERIODS

 

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you are a

perimenopausal woman

NO PERIODS FOR OVER 12 MONTHS you are a

postmenopausal woman

One particularly useful website is called:

menopause matters

National guidance on diagnosing and managing the menopause – 2019:

NICE guidance 2019

New changes and updates – 2022:

NICE update

Learning about the menopause can be confusing, there are many potential sources of information and different perspectives. Opposite are links to a useful website, and the official NHS guidance that you can click on. Each woman is different and will probably benefit from some combination of lifestyle changes and complementary therapies to support her. The lack of oestrogen after menopause can be relieved by hormone replacement which is now thought to be a safe option for most women. There more information about this, and recent changes to the guidance on our HRT page below.
So called ‘Lifestyle changes’ means taking more care to give your body what it requires for a healthy life and plenty of energy; exercise several times a week, having time to eat food that is healthy for you, giving some love and attention to important relationships and doing something enjoyable or creative whether that is singing in a choir, crochet, kick boxing or salsa dancing. Simple daily steps like sprinkling linseed on your food or making tea with a sage leaf from the garden can be helpful. Some people consult a herbalist, or are in a position to treat themselves to acupuncture or other therapies that might help them through this natural transition.  
Last but never least SAVE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR and improve your sexual experience. As levels of natural oestrogen reduce during the perimenopause it is common to develop vaginal dryness which can make smear tests or intercourse uncomfortable. We recommend oestrogen pessaries or cream for all post-menopausal women. Daily pelvic floor exercises are also important as you pass menopause, to keep your insides in and reduce the risk of prolapse so that you can remain fit and active into your 80s and beyond. Engaging your pelvic floor muscles is likely to make sexual intercourse more enjoyable and reduces the risk of incontinence.