Here at Liverpool Women’s we have a dedicated Menopause clinic supporting all women through menopause.
Menopause can be devastating for some women. It often occurs at a time in life when they are juggling lots of challenging roles – elderly parents with failing health, teen/adult children worries, possibly caring for grandchildren as well as doing their own job.
I’ve met many women who simply stop coping. Through fatigue from sleeplessness and anxiety about severe flushes they lose a sense of self and become withdrawn…isolated….depressed. Libido disappears.
Relationships suffer, and breakdown. Many women walk away from their career.
Some women are plunged into menopause overnight – possibly after cancer treatments. As well as the significant menopause symptoms and treatment side effects, they have the emotional rollercoaster of their cancer diagnosis to contend with.
And younger women, who may not have started, or completed, their family, can enter early menopause. Their situation is complicated by the emotional burden of adjusting to a different future. Long-term heart and bone health can be another worry.
As the Menopause Specialist I offer a holistic approach to menopause management, providing individual advice and support about treatment options – including HRT, nonhormonal treatments and lifestyle changes.
Why do menopausal symptoms occur?
Menopausal symptoms affect about 70% of women, this is due to the changing hormone levels, particularly estrogen, but many factors such as diet and exercise, lifestyle and other medication can influence the symptoms.
What can help to reduce menopausal symptoms?
For some people, life-style factors such as reducing/stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, reducing caffeine intake, reducing stress, eating healthily and taking regular exercise can considerably help the symptoms of menopause.
For others, HRT can be very beneficial. This isn’t permanent, if taken for symptom relief only, a trial period of stopping HRT is recommended every 2 years or so to assess whether or not treatment is still required. If when this is stopped symptoms recur, treatment can be started again, if it is felt that the benefits outweigh the risks. Alternative therapies may also be considered for menopause symptom control.
It is important for those who go through the menopause at an early age (before 45) to understand how taking HRT can help to reduce osteoarthritis and heart health in later life.
There are also some ‘bioidentical’ drugs that women are being made aware off, it is important to understand that unlike HRT which is a ‘body identical’ drug, these drugs have high risks associated with them that are not made clear. ‘Bioidentical’ are duplicates of hormones. Without strong research and evidence to suggest the side effects of this drug I would encourage women to consider who and where they are getting this drug from. Only certified members of the British Menopause Society are licensed to prescribe drugs, only the ‘body identical’ HRT is given to patients. More can be read on the British Menopause Society website here: https://thebms.org.uk/publications/consensus-statements/bioidentical-hrt/
When do menopausal symptoms begin?
Many women notice early symptoms while still having periods, when the hormone production is declining very gradually. This stage of gradually falling and fluctuating hormone levels is often called the "climacteric" or the "change" and often begins in the 4th decade and can last for several years. Because ovarian function fluctuates, women may experience menopause symptoms intermittently. Some women experience an early, or premature menopause, symptoms may occur immediately, depending on the cause. Immediate onset of menopause symptoms can often come following a surgical menopause. The duration of "early" symptoms is very variable from a few months to many years and the severity varies between individuals.
How to be seen at Liverpool Women’s Menopause Clinic
If you would like to be seen in our clinic please visit your GP and request a referral to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Menopause clinic.
The clinic is run at the Liverpool Women’s Crown Street site and also at the Liverpool Women’s Aintree Centre at Aintree Hospital.