General health

A Guide to Menopause

Menopause signifies the cessation of menstruation, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Defined medically as “the absence of menstruation for twelve consecutive months”, it arises from a natural decline in oestrogen and progesterone levels. This hormonal shift can trigger a range of physiological and emotional changes, collectively termed the menopausal transition.

While the cessation of menstruation is the main feature, menopause encompasses a broader spectrum of experiences. Common symptoms include hot flushes and night sweats, sleep disturbances, urogenital changes, and mood fluctuations. The impact and severity of these symptoms vary greatly among individuals.

Understanding the biological and emotional aspects of menopause is crucial for women transitioning through this stage. Early recognition and management of associated symptoms can significantly improve quality of life and overall well-being.

The three stages of menopause

  1. Peri-menopause: This can be a hormonal roller-coaster with mood swings, hot flushes, and irregular periods.
  2. Menopause: Say goodbye to your monthly period. After 12 period-free months, you have officially entered this new life chapter. ️
  3. Postmenopause: This is the time to focus on your long-term well-being.

When does menopause happen?

While the cessation of menstruation, or menopause, typically happens around age 51 in the UK, the timing can be unpredictable.

Here’s a brief guide to when it could happen:

1. Early menopause: 

  • Premature Menopause (POI): Before age 40, affecting 1 in 100 women under 40 and declining in frequency with younger ages.
  • Early Menopause: Between 40 and 45, a less frequent occurrence than POI.

2. Medical circumstances: 

  • Surgical Menopause: Removal of both ovaries during surgery prompts this immediate transition.
  • Medical Menopause: Therapies like radiotherapy or chemotherapy can disrupt or permanently alter ovarian function, leading to early menopause.

3. Average menopause: 

  • Menopause: After 12 consecutive months without menstruation, this occurs around age 51 for most women.
  • Postmenopause: The new life stage begins, characterised by hormonal stability and the absence of periods.

Menopause may not follow a strict script, but with preparation and support, it can be an empowering chapter in any woman’s life story.

Why does menopause happen?

Menopause arises from a complex interplay of biological factors, primarily driven by the depletion of ovarian follicular reserves. The production of oestrogen and progesterone slows, causing a ripple effect across numerous physiological systems.

This hormonal imbalance, sometimes marked by unpleasant symptoms like hot flushes and sleep disturbances, ultimately signifies the natural winding down of the reproductive system. It signals the transition from a fertile phase to a new life stage characterised by hormonal stability, vitality and wisdom.

While egg production wanes, menopause introduces a new stage, empowering women to focus on holistic well-being to support their health through the coming decades.

Embracing the menopause transition

Prime Health’s comprehensive Perimenopause and Menopause Women’s Health Checks can help you navigate your perimenopause and menopause journey.

We acknowledge women’s unique challenges during this hormonal transition and offer a comprehensive health check designed to optimise well-being and mitigate potential health risks.

Carried out by our highly experienced Private GPs, our health check begins with a detailed assessment of your hormonal profile through precise and reliable blood test analysis. We check your key hormone levels, including oestrogen and progesterone, providing valuable insights into the stage of your transition and guiding tailored interventions, should they be required.

The protective influence of oestrogen on the cardiovascular system also diminishes during menopause, increasing the risk of heart disease. If clinically appropriate, we may actively monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other cardiovascular risk factors, implementing proactive interventions to ensure optimal cardiovascular health throughout this transition.

Your Perimenopause and Menopause Health Checks also include the following essential factors:

  • Prioritising Breast Health: Regular breast examinations remain crucial for early detection of potential breast health concerns. We can offer comprehensive breast healthcare options, including expert guidance, empowering you to safeguard your well-being proactively.
  • Optimising Pelvic Health: Pelvic health often takes centre stage during perimenopause and menopause. Our health check encompasses thorough pelvic exams and screenings for conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic organ prolapse. We foster an open and supportive environment where you can discuss any concerns related to sexual health, including changes in libido or vaginal dryness, and receive appropriate solutions.
  • Addressing Mental and Emotional Well-being: The impact of hormonal fluctuations on mental and emotional health cannot be underestimated. We conduct screenings for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, providing access to evidence-based therapies and holistic strategies to support your emotional well-being.
  • Empowering Through Lifestyle Coaching: Diet, exercise, and sleep are pivotal in managing menopause symptoms and promoting overall health. We can help with personalised lifestyle coaching, focusing on strategies to optimise your nutrition, integrate regular physical activity, and prioritise quality sleep.

Partnering with Prime Health for a Proactive Approach

At Prime Health, we firmly believe in open communication and collaboration. We encourage regular consultations with our healthcare professionals, empowering you to actively participate in managing your health and making informed decisions throughout your perimenopause and menopause journey.

By offering a comprehensive and personalised health check, Prime Health equips women with the knowledge, tools, and support needed to navigate perimenopause and menopause with confidence. We champion proactive health management and empower you to thrive during this pivotal stage of life.

Established over a decade ago, Prime Health has evolved from a respected provider of diagnostic imaging services to a leading advocate for holistic healthcare in the private sector. We are committed to setting a new quality, access, and patient experience standard.

Our core philosophy:

  • Prevention-centric: We believe in empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being through proactive measures. We offer comprehensive wellness programmes, illness and injury prevention strategies, and personalised health assessments.
  • Unmatched expertise: We boast a team of highly qualified and experienced healthcare professionals, including GPs, specialists, and rehabilitation experts. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our impeccable reputation for the quality of our diagnostic services, treatments, and patient reports.
  • Seamless integration: We understand the value of convenience and efficiency. Our patients have access to a broad spectrum of services under one roof, eliminating the need for multiple appointments and fragmented care.
  • Patient empowerment: We believe in partnering with our patients to make informed decisions about their health. We provide clear communication, personalised guidance, and the tools to participate actively in their healthcare journey.

Prime Health is more than just a professional healthcare provider; we are a trusted partner on the path to optimal well-being. We invite you to experience the difference, where unparalleled expertise, integrated services, and patient empowerment create an exceptional healthcare experience.

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