When does menopause begin, is there an average menopause age and how long will it last? What are the 34 symptoms of the menopause? These are all key questions for menopausal women, and ones that Dr Stephanie Goodwin addresses in this video, What Is The Menopause?
Here’s what Dr Steph has to say in full.
What is the menopause?
The menopause is a definition. It means you’ve not had a period for a whole year. Many women won’t even realise they’ve had the menopause until a year later when they realise they’ve not had a period.
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What is the menopause age?
In the UK the average age of the menopause is 51, but there are a proportion of women who will have an early menopause. That means menopause before the age of 45, and 5% of women will have that.
Then there is another group of women who get what’s called premature ovarian insufficiency and they will have the menopause before the age of 40. That’s 1% of women.
What are the most common menopause symptoms?
There are many symptoms of the menopause and that’s why it can be so difficult to diagnose. Because the menopause affects every part of your body.
The main symptoms that women complain of are hot flushes and hot sweats. So night sweats that mean you wake up drenched, hot flushes during the day.
Psychological symptoms; brain fog, anxiety, mood changes. Musculoskeletal symptoms; joint pains that you’ve never had before, inflammation. Urinary symptoms; more urinary tract infections, having to get up in the night to pass urine, perhaps not being quite as strong with pelvic floor, so a bit of leaking of urine. Then sexual changes; so lack of libido, vaginal dryness.
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Is the menopause different for every woman?
Nobody will have the menopause the same as someone else. Everybody’s experience is very, very different.
So for some women they might sail through and never even speak to anybody about this time of life because they have no symptoms. Other women I’ve met have had to give up work because their symptoms have been so bad. Their relationships have failed and they’ve felt so awful, they’ve become socially isolated and so on.
So there’s a very broad spectrum of what is a woman’s menopausal experience.
You’ll find more videos from Dr Stephanie Goodwin on menopause and perimenopause on the MPowered Women YouTube channel. Who needs Netflix! Subscribe now and get the answers to all your midlife health needs. (Then you can go back to Netflix.)