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Fast Facts: Menopause for Women and their Supporters

Fast Facts: Menopause for Women and their Supporters

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Fast Facts: Menopause for Women and their Supporters

92 pagine
33 minuti
Nov 2, 2018


The menopause transition affects different women in different ways, with symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating. This fact-filled workbook explains in simple language what happens during the perimenopausal years, highlights the long-term consequences of the menopause, and debunks the myths surrounding menopausal hormone treatment. With spaces to write notes and keep track of symptoms, it is the ideal resource to help women have informed discussions with their doctors or nurses and choose how they want to manage their menopause transition. Contents: • What is the menopause? • What’s happening with my hormones? • How will the menopause transition affect me? • Long-term consequences of the menopause • Managing the common symptoms • Sex and the menopause • Lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms • Menopausal hormone therapy • Weighing up the benefits and risks of MHT • The long-term benefits of MHT • The risks of MHT • MHT and breast cancer • Frequently asked questions about MHT • Breaking the taboo and getting support • What’s new?
Nov 2, 2018

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Fast Facts - P. Briggs


What is the menopause?

The menopause is specifically your last menstrual period. However, the word menopause is widely used to describe the time around this event when many women experience symptoms. This is more accurately known as the peri-menopause. It can be thought of as the menopause transition (gradual change) from the reproductive years to the post-menopausal years, and this is the term most frequently used in this book.

During the menopause transition, the amount of oestrogen produced by the ovaries changes (described on pages 4 and 5). Instead of having a regular menstrual cycle, it becomes unpredictable. The changing levels of oestrogen cause symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, hot flushes, night sweats, emotional instability, vaginal dryness and bladder problems.


Peri-menopausal means the time around the menopause (‘Peri’ means around). This period of menopause transition is the gradual change as your periods stop up to 12 months after your last period.

Post-menopausal means the time from 12 months after your last period. (‘Post’ means after.)

When does the menopause happen?

• The average age for the start of the menopause transition is 46 years – much younger than most women expect. (Peri-menopausal symptoms that start before the age of 45 are referred to as early menopause.)

• The menopause itself is reached when the ovaries stop producing oestrogen.

• The post-menopause starts 12 months after a woman’s last period. The average age for becoming post-menopausal in the UK is 52.

We can’t predict when a woman will reach the menopause transition. It is not related to the age she started her periods. However, there may be an inherited aspect, so if your mother had an early natural menopause, you may too.

Although we talk about ‘averages’ here, there is no ‘normal’ or ‘average’. The age at which the menopause transition starts and finishes varies widely, as do the symptoms women experience, how mild or severe they are, and how long they last.

My notes

Make a note here of key dates (e.g. when you think your symptoms started, when you get your periods, or the age at which your mother went through the menopause) ...

What’s happening with my hormones?

During your reproductive years

The menstrual cycle is a complex process, regulated by hormones.

When you are born, your ovaries contain lots of eggs (ova). From puberty, an egg matures each month and is released. This process is controlled by two hormones that are released by the pituitary gland – follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). FSH and LH also stimulate the ovaries to produce oestrogen and progesterone.

• In the first phase of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries release oestrogen, which causes the lining of the uterus (womb) to thicken.

• After ovulation

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