For so long Peri-Menopause/Menopause was seen as just something women had to put up with. Despite up to 90% of UK women experiencing severe menopausal symptoms, only half will seek medical help, mainly due to embarrassment.
What is Menopause?
The menopause is classed as when you have not had a period for 12 months or more. Symptoms can arise years before this and are referred to as the Perimenopause.
Information suggests that symptoms will last around four years, but in reality can last a lot longer. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.
Depression can be a huge problem during menopause. Evidence suggests that depression during menopause can present differently in comparison to other depressive disorders.
I first started with menopausal symptoms in my early 40’s, however I didn’t realise that was the cause. I wasn’t displaying the ‘usual’ symptoms‘, hot flushes, lighter or irregular periods etc. In fact my periods were still pretty regular. However, I suddenly developed dreadful PMT (or so I thought) and was constantly bloated. As well as that I developed food allergies and intolerances I had never had before and my memory really began to fail.
It wasn’t until the night sweats started a year or so later, when I began to wonder if it was the menopause. When I first approached my (male) GP, I was promptly told I was too young and it couldn’t be the menopause. Four years later I finally had a (female) GP confirm I was perimenopausal and prescribe HRT. It’s still early days and we are working on getting the right dose. However, I have also introduced vitamins and supplements to my diet. As well as that, I am trying to be very sensible in what I eat. Because of my journey, I’m passionate about raising awareness and letting women know they don’t have to suffer their menopausal symptoms in silence.