Menopause means “the end of monthly cycles”. Menopause normally happens between the ages of 45-55. If you haven’t had a period for 12 months, you may have reached menopause.
At menopause, your oestrogen levels drop, your ovaries stop releasing eggs, and your period stops.
If menopause begins before the age of 40, it is called premature menopause. Premature menopause can run in families, or be caused by an infection, immune disorder, or chromosomal variation. Smoking has been linked to premature menopause. Surgical removal of the ovaries, or some cancer treatments, can cause premature menopause. Symptoms can be more severe and sudden in those cases.
Perimenopause is the stage of menopause before the period actually stops. During this stage periods often change. They may become heavier, lighter, longer, shorter, or more irregular. This stage can last a year or more. If you have heavy bleeding that is causing problems in your life, you may be able to have treatment to help with this — make an appointment with us.
Symptoms of menopause include:
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Hot flushes
- Vaginal dryness which can lead to painful sex
- Itchy skin
- Loss of libido
- Mood changes
You may experience all, some, or none of these symptoms.
Learn more about menopause