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Conditions

Menopause

menopause

The menopause is often called the ‘change of life’ and is not an illness, but a stage in a woman’s life where she stops ovulating and ceases to menstruate. It is preceded by a period known as the peri-menopause, where the symptoms of the menopause start, and the post-menopause where the symptoms cease. It is unusual because it can affect women in many different ways, and some will pass through it with barely any symptoms, whilst others suffer severe and distressing complications that require medical help.

The most common symptoms include hot flushes, which are often red and patchy and night sweats. As a result of both of these, a woman’s sleep may be disturbed and this can lead to irritability and problems with short-term memory and concentration. Another common symptom is vaginal atrophy, more commonly known as vaginal dryness. This manifests itself as an itching and dryness that can make sex very uncomfortable, though this can normally be treated with oestrogen cream and vaginal pessary. Other common symptoms include urinary infections, such as cystitis.

Only around 1 in 10 women will need to seek treatment for menopausal symptoms, and the most commonly prescribed treatment is Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. This replaces the missing oestrogen and can relieve all the symptoms of the menopause. An alternative to this is Tibolone, which is a synthetic steroid that acts in much the same way as HRT.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

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I had a ring fitted for a prolapse I was very sore underneath and could not stand my pants touching me I am using estriol cream but it seems to have no effect.





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Hi I am going through the menopause and have hot flushes, joint pain tiredness, I'm taking supplements exercising, and trying to eat healthy, I've just started using a cream, following the instructions, but I am on a forum where some ladies say it is. Not safe? I've only been using it for 5 days? Please can you help? One lady said she found a breast lump after using it? Should I stop?





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I'm 49 years old and for the last 6 months or so I've been having awful night sweats. I also have terrible itching and soreness around the outside of my vagina. My doctor precribed hydrocortisone cream without even looking at the rash. I've tried this before and it doesn't work. What else can i do? Many thanks





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I am 69 yrs old and my menopause started when I was 48 yrs old. How is it that I have started getting about 5 "hot flushes" every day and a night sweats and hot flushes during the night? Any ideas? Fortunately, it is winter in the UK, so going into the garden and standing there "starkers" is a good way to cool down!!!





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have now found that this was probably a sympton of the Leukemia which has just been diagnosed, with a routine blood test!

I AM 4O Y/O NOW SINCE SEPTEMBER 2014 THAT WAS MY LAST MENSES BUT UNTIL NOW I HAVE NO PERIOD. iS THIS ALRAEDY THE SIGN OF MENNUPAUSE? WHAT i AM SUPPOSED TO DO? pLEASE HELP mE. tHANKS..





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Good morning doctor, l am 21years but for 2 months l did not see my menstrual period. I did pregnancy test which is negative. Please can you tell what caused this.





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I have not had a period for 2 years now, but this morning to my surprise , here we go again. Is this normal ?, advise please , many thanks .





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hi I am 41 years old and my periods have been very light since December I have had various blood tests done and all looks good but the past two months I haven't had a period I have been switched to a different pill but I take it the same as I did the last ive done two pregnancy tests both negative as should be but I still get all the pain and symptoms as I would if I had a period please advise should I go back to docs again.





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Hi am 31 I have pcos and don't havey period Every month but want to have a baby now what Is the best me medicine to take or to helpe get my Period and get pregnant ASAP ???





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I am 46 in September but I have already gone through the menopause, I went 9 months without a period but i started on HRT to help reduce risk to bones and heart etc, the problem is I am on the hrt that is not meant to let you have a period but for the last 7 days I have been bleeding and having tummy cramps and today I have noticed that it looks like I have passed some kind of skin/tissue with the blood. Is this normal, never had it before? Have stopped taking the hrt, can't get to see my dr until June 2nd, just need some advice, thanks, Becky.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

The menopause is sometimes known as the "change of life", and is marked by the ending of menstruation (when a woman's periods stop). In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 52. Read More »

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