A recent survey conducted amongst women aged between 40 and 65 in the US revealed that a majority of them were relatively uninformed about the menopause. In addition, even amongst those experiencing menopause symptoms, most had not considered seeking treatment.
Forty-five per cent of the women surveyed didn’t know the difference between perimenopause and menopause. Twenty per cent had been experiencing symptoms for more than a year before consulting a medical professional, and thirty-four per cent had never received a formal diagnosis of menopause or perimenopause.
Of those who were experiencing symptoms, seventy-three per cent said they had never sought treatment. In addition, the number of menopausal women is on the increase – estimated to reach 1.1 billion worldwide by 2025. So we have decided to address some of the issues raised by the survey.
What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause?
Menopause itself is the biological process that happens when a woman’s menstrual cycle ends.
The term perimenopause refers to the months or years leading up to that point, when the body is in transition. This is when you may begin to experience symptoms.
What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
If you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing perimenopause, here are some of the key symptoms to look out for:
- Hot flushes – at this time of year, we all overheat from time to time, but if your body temperature seems to increase disproportionately to the weather conditions, it could be due to the menopause
- Mood swings – as with everything hormone related, changes of mood can be a sure sign that something’s up. If you find you are more irritable or quick to tears than usual, ask yourself if you could be perimenopausal
- Difficulty sleeping – night sweats, insomnia and waking in the night for no apparent reason could all be signs that you are going through the change
- Weight gain – we’ve all heard the phrase ‘middle-age spread’. Unfortunately another side effect of the menopause can be weight gain, particularly around the abdomen and hips
What to do if you are experiencing perimenopause
If the symptoms above sound familiar and you think you might be perimenopausal, you don’t have to just put up with all the problems that go with it.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) fell out of favour a few years ago, but it can be a very safe and effective way to treat the symptoms associated with perimenopause. And if you don’t think HRT is for you, there are plenty of other options available.
Here at Surescan, we offer a Menopause Health Check for any woman who thinks they are going through the menopause. We recommend you attend the clinic at least once a year to undergo the health check, so that we can monitor your symptoms and adjust any treatment accordingly.
The Menopause Health Check includes:
- Abdominal and pelvic examination
- Consultation on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
- Advice on lifestyle
- Blood Tests
- Hormone profile (FSH, S Estradiol) if indicated
- Vitamin D levels
- Thyroid Function Tests
- Pelvic Ultrasound Scan
- Ca125 levels
- Cervical smear
For more information, or to book a Menopause Health Check, please contact us.