Menopause & Hormone Replacement Therapy

Information and tips on menopause and managing menopausal symptoms.
Menopause is the point in a woman's life when menstruation ceases due to reduced functioning of the ovaries due to ageing, resulting in the natural decline in estrogen production.

The average age for women to have their last period is about 50 but it's normal for menopause to occur at any time from age 41 to 59.

Menopause is a gradual process that can take several years. It is preceded by a stage called perimenopause in which menstrual cycles become less regular and symptoms occur (e.g. hot flashes). The common signs and symptoms include:

  • Change in menstrual cycle. This is usually the first sign of menopause. Periods may be missed or they may occur closer together. The flow may be lighter or heavier than usual.

  • Hot flashes. This is warmth in the face, neck and chest, often in wave-like sensations. The skin may turn red and sweating occurs.

  • Thinning of the vagina and vulva. The skin of the vagina and vulva becomes thin and dry with menopause. This can lead to pain during sex.

  • Mood swings. Many women experience emotional symptoms during menopause due to the drop in estrogen levels. These symptoms may include sadness, anxiety and loss of sleep.

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