The menopause. It happens to us all sooner or later – some much sooner than others, unfortunately.
Because it’s such a natural part of life once you reach a certain age, it’s tempting to think that this is something you should get through on your own. After all, you didn’t feel the need to seek medical help when you started your periods, so why should you do so when they stop?
The menopause, however, is about much more than just stopping your periods. It marks a huge change in a woman’s body, and many of the symptoms associated with it can also be signs of something else. That is why a thorough health check can confirm that it is just the menopause you’re experiencing.
When should I go for a menopause health check?
There’s no right or wrong answer here – the menopause usually affects women between the ages of 45-55. But if you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms earlier, it could be that you are perimenopausal or even going through early menopause.
In fact, if you are having symptoms associated with the menopause before the age of 40, it is even more important that you seek medical advice.
Menopausal symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Lighter or heavier periods than usual
- Irregular bleeding
- Hot flushes
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
- Reduced sex drive
What happens at a menopause health check?
When you come for a menopause health check here at Surescan, you will receive a thorough consultation with a consultant gynaecologist. They will discuss all your symptoms with you, offer some lifestyle advice that could help to alleviate symptoms, and present you with all the information you need to make a decision on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) treatment.
We will also run some tests, including:
- Blood pressure and BMI check
- Abdominal and pelvic examination
- Blood tests
- Hormone profile if indicated
- Vitamin D levels
- Thyroid function tests
These tests are especially useful because there is a risk that if a woman is at menopausal age, symptoms get attributed to the menopause that are in fact caused by something more serious.
Both thyroid problems and vitamin D deficiency are relatively easy to treat but can be missed in women aged 40+ as the symptoms are strikingly similar to those experienced during the menopause.
If required, we can also include additional tests for ovarian and cervical cancer screening.
How often do I need a menopause health check?
We recommend that all peri and postmenopausal women undergo a full health check at least once a year. This should provide peace of mind with regard to your overall health and allow us to monitor the progress of any treatment.