We have created this resource area to support all women with information about perimenopause and menopause.
What happens in perimenopause and menopause?
Menopause can affect women in many different and individual ways. After the age of about 40 our hormone levels (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) start to decrease and fluctuate.
When this happens, women enter into ‘perimenopause’ – the phase of life leading up to menopause. For some women this can happen a lot earlier than 40-years-old. For others it can occur later.
As a result of these hormonal changes women experience a wide range of symptoms – with 34 symptoms most commonly identified as part of this phase.
You do not need to experience all 34 symptoms to be in menopause or perimenopause. Likewise, you may experience some of these symptoms for reasons other than menopause too.
Are you in perimenopause / menopause?
Use our symptom checker to assess your own symptoms against the 34 symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
Our helpful checklist includes a notes area for you to track your own symptoms and prepare for your doctor’s appointment.
Getting help for the symptoms of perimenopause / menopause
If you arrange an appointment with your GP there are 10 things your doctor should know about perimenopause and menopause.
For example, your doctor should be familiar with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on menopause which aim to improve the consistency and support for women in menopause. You can read and print off the NICE guidelines here.
It’s also worth familiarising yourself with the latest guidance from the General Medical Council on decision-making and consent. This guidance, effective 9 November 2020, sets our how doctors and patients should together reach decisions about treatment – including the importance of discussing all available treatment options.
This guidance might be particularly helpful for you if you have not been offered HRT or if you have been refused HRT.
Getting specialist help for your menopause and perimenopause symptoms
It’s likely your usual GP will be your first port of call for help. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your first appointment.
It’s worth being aware that unfortunately GPs receive very little training in menopause.
As campaigner Diane Danzebrink explained for this website: “it is now clear that education for healthcare professionals on the subject of menopause is poor and sometimes non-existent and many GPs, often the first port of call, are simply not equipped to help. This is not the fault of the individual GP but that of those who set the curriculum for their training.”
A specialist in menopause and perimenopause can be your next port of call. By meeting with a Menopause Doctor you will ensure you receive the correct support, help and treatment that you need for your symptoms from someone who has a specialism in this area.
We have a directory of menopause specialists that we can recommend to you. The directory is searchable so you can find a specialist that is best suited to your needs.
Use our directory to find a menopause specialist.
The British Menopause Society also carries a list of menopause specialists that you can contact.
The Menopause Lounge
Looking for some affordable help with Menopause and expert answers to your questions? We organise small, confidential group sessions with a doctor from The Menopause Consultancy each month.
Click on the image below to find out more about the sessions or register your interest for our next one here.
Choosing Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT is a safe option for many women in menopause to replace the oestrogen that is lost. This article, by Dr Louise Newson, explains exactly what HRT is and the benefits it can bring during menopause.
There is contradictory and often misleading information from time to time in the media about HRT.
To help, the world-leading expert Dr Avrum Bluming, co-authored the best-selling book ‘Oestrogen Matters’. In this book, Dr Bluming explored the benefits and risks of HRT and the links with breast cancer, heart health, osteoporosis and Alzheimers. You can watch some video clips of Dr Bluming explaining some of his key findings here.
You might also find useful this video interview with the BBC’s Kirsty Lang about why she chose HRT after breast cancer.
Ultimately, The Latte Lounge believes that women should have the access to the right information and support in order to make an informed decision about HRT – or indeed all aspects of their own health.
Helpful articles about menopause and perimenopause symptoms
We’ve got a number of articles on our website written by experts and medical specialists to help you with your symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.
- Living with vaginal atrophy – Advice on managing vaginal dryness in menopause.
- Coping with migraines in menopause – Advice from a doctor on how to manage migraines.
- Osteoporosis and menopause – Dr Rachel Hines explains how menopause is a risk factor for osteoporosis, prevention tips and the treatment options
- Managing your menopause without HRT – Dr Louise Newson talks through tips for your nutrition, exercise and other ideas to manage your menopause without HRT.
- Using yoga to manage menopause – Yoga is now recommended by the NHS as a relaxing activity that may help with mood swings, low mood and anxiety around the time of the menopause.
- Menopause explained for men – Advice on how to speak with your partner about menopause
- The secret to weight loss in your 40s and beyond – A nutritionist’s advice on how to work with your fluctuating hormones and bodily changes rather than against them.
- The best foods to eat during perimenopause and menopause – A guide to the food to incorporate in your diet (and why they’re so beneficial during menopause) by nutritionist and Dr Harriet Holme.
- Good mood food to beat the menopause blues – Nutritionist Jackie Lynch explains which food can help you overcome anxiety and low mood during menopause.
Helpful books about menopause and perimenopause
We recently collated our recommended reads on menopause and perimenopause. All of these books have helpful perspectives and information on the experience of menopause and perimenopause. Some have been written by medical professionals with expertise in menopause, others are from the perspective and experiences of women in menopause. We will continue to add to this list of helpful books.
Further support & information about perimenopause and menopause
We hope this resource area is useful for you. You will find many more articles about menopause, perimenopause, HRT and all things midlife across our website. We will continue to add to this resource area regularly.
If you need further support, we have a list of useful UK helplines that you can access.
We are here to help too, so if you’d like more information, please do contact us.
Finally, do watch our video highlights from Menopause Awareness Month 2020. During this month we spoke to a range of world experts and menopause specialists: