Menopause

Menopause at Woodland Hospital

Ovarian Cysts

The menopause happens when a woman’s body stops having periods due to the natural decline of oestrogen levels. The average age for a woman to hit the menopause in the UK is around 50, but it’s not uncommon for it to take place anywhere between 45 and 55.

Women may also find that symptoms begin earlier than this, sometimes before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. Symptoms may continue for years after, though this is rare.

Our Gynaecological Consultants offer effective advice and treatments for patients currently dealing with menopause.

The causes of menopause

The most common cause of menopause is the natural decline in a woman’s oestrogen levels which cause her ovaries to stop producing eggs. Why this can happen to a woman earlier in life is still unknown as there are no clear causes.

Underlying medical conditions such as Down’s syndrome can cause menopause as well as medical treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or oophorectomies (a surgical removal of the ovaries).

Symptoms

There are a wide range of symptoms for menopause and they can often be confused for other medical conditions. With all of these symptoms certain lifestyle changes or medication can help to alleviate them. The most common ones are:

Night Sweats

People who suffer with night sweats will often wake up drenched in sweat in sodden bedding, even if the room is cool. The medical term for the condition is nocturnal hyperhidrosis and it’s usually harmless. It can, however, feel uncomfortable/be disruptive for your sleeping and embarrassing, especially if you share your bed with a partner.

Hot Flushes

Most women who go through the menopause will experience hot flushes. They cause a sudden feeling of heat to surge through the body and can induce sweating, palpitations, and blushing. Just how many a woman will experience a day, how severe they are, and how long they last, vary between each individual with some claiming that they’re a mild annoyance to others who find they disrupt their normal lives.

Hot flushes can last for years after the menopause and most women learn to accommodate them into their everyday routine. If this isn’t achievable, however, there are medicinal and holistic treatment options available that some have found to help ease the discomfort.

Vaginal Dryness

This can happen at any age but is most common during the menopause due to the decrease of oestrogen levels. It’s characterised by irritation and a burning or itchy sensation. You may also find sex uncomfortable and that you have a reduced sex drive which can make it hard to become aroused or reach orgasm. It can also increase the likelihood of getting urinary tract infections (UTIs).

One simple treatment that could help alleviate the symptoms is to apply a lubricant or vaginal moisturiser. If this doesn’t help, talk to one of our Consultants for more options.

Insomnia

You may be suffering from insomnia if you’re spending long periods of time trying to fall asleep, waking up multiple times in the night, not feeling refreshed from the sleep you do get, or feel tired and irritated during the day and find it hard to concentrate.

Some people may go through bouts of insomnia during their life without experiencing any issues whilst others find it causes a serious impact to themselves and their families.

Low Moods / Anxiety

You may experience low moods or anxiety during the menopause, either as a direct result of it or due to the other symptoms that may develop. If this occurs you are likely to feel tired or have little energy, lose your appetite or comfort eat, you may even come down with a feeling of hopelessness.  There are certain life changes you can make to help ease this such as reducing your alcohol intake, regular exercise, and eating a healthier diet.

Diagnosis

If you think you are experiencing menopausal symptoms a simple blood test that measures your hormone levels will confirm this. It’s usually offered to women aged 40-45 but can be done younger than 40 if premature menopause is suspected as the cause of the symptoms.

Which Consultants can I see at Woodland Hospital?

How do I see a Gynaecologist at Woodland Hospital?

We provide Gynaecological services for both NHS patients and Private patients either self-paying for their treatment or using medical insurance.

If you have any questions about using your Private Medical Insurance or self-paying for treatment, please call 01536 210 019 or email us via our contact form.

Finance packages are available via a medical loan with 0% finance, further details are available here.

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