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Managing your menopause: What you need to know

Our expert team of pharmacists have put together this blog to answer some common questions surrounding menopause, and to provide much-needed support.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural part of ageing in women. It is when your periods start to become less frequent, and then eventually stop altogether. Menopause can be a lonely and confusing time, but thankfully it is becoming a far less of a taboo topic to speak about, making help and support more accessible for women.

When does the menopause start?

Menopause commonly starts in most women aged between 45 and 55. On some occasions, due to genetics, illness, or medical procedures, some women may go through menopause before the age of 45.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

The decreased production of estrogen and progesterone is what causes the many symptoms that women experience as they transition into menopause.

Symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman, and some may not experience any at all. But many experience symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping and changes in mood. You may also experience hair loss or thinning, inability to concentrate, and memory loss.

How can I tell if I have reached the menopause stage?

Everyone’s menopause transition is unique, which is why at The London House Of Wellbeing our pharmacists are here for a friendly chat about any concerns and questions you may have. We provide rapid menopause and hormone health screening tests that can give you more information on what your body is trying to tell you. The menopause test involves taking a urine sample, with results provided within 10 minutes.

Do I need to take Iron supplements?

Iron deficiency is common in pre-menopausal women because of the blood loss during menstruation. It is advised that pre-menopausal women eat iron rich foods. Good sources include red meat, liver, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and fortified breakfast cereals. During menopause and certainly post menopause there is no need for iron supplementation. At The London House of Wellbeing, we can test your iron levels alongside testing for menopause so that a more rounded approach is adopted when it comes to treatment choices.

What can I do to help myself if I feel menopausal?

To help support our mind and bodies during this period, eating a healthy balanced diet and regularly exercising can help us feel good and strong and can help us improve some menopausal symptoms. Avoiding processed foods, reducing alcohol and sugar consumption can also help support our mind and bodies and our overall mental wellbeing.

What are the treatments, and can HRT help my menopause?

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is partially effective if you suffer severe symptoms in your day to day life. HRT can come in the form of tablets, skin patches, gels and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms. Your GP will advise on the best type of HRT, and advise on any associated risks you may have whilst using this form of treatment.

Alternative treatments to manage menopause are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which helps to reduce feelings of low mood and anxiety.

In combination with taking vitamins, natural herbal supplements that stimulate estrogen can help relieve menopause symptoms. These are hemp extract, soya, red clover and black cohosh root.

We are here to help you!

We pride ourselves on providing free health expert advice through our podcast link, social media platforms and having a knowledgeable pharmacist available everyday for consultations at our branch in Herne Hill and at St.Margaret's House, Bethnal Green every Monday.

If you would like to speak with one of our pharmacists about your menopause, please get in touch! We’re here to offer friendly advice, and to help you take control of your health.

If you have enjoyed this blog, sign up to our subscriber list to receive future information on menopause and other health topics.

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