Pause for Thought – Part one

menopause diagnosis

Menopause – it’s a subject which is often the END of a conversation. People find it difficult to talk about it and there is such a poor level of education on the subject that it is often considered taboo. This means that many women don’t understand the changes they are going through and quite often don’t even mention it to their GP. This kind of mismanagement can be cause for concern in cases where women are going through early or surgical menopause.

It’s important to take a moment to talk about the menopause openly and frankly; as our very own Menopause Doctor, Dr Shahzadi Harper explains in Part one of our Pause for Thought article.

It’s good to talk

Speaking about vaginal health has become mainstream! Recently, campaigns like the Me. No. Pause. posters on Transport for London sites, plus celebrity attention, have brought the menopause to the foreground. This is, fantastic news for women’s health and healthcare professionals. Hopefully, with more discussion around the menopause transition, fewer women will suffer in silence which, according to the British Menopause Society (BMS), many do.

It has been labelled a ‘taboo subject’. The menopause is poorly covered by the national curriculum and at medical schools, and then, forgotten for the 30-odd years until it manifests as a reality in every woman’s life.

Retrospective Diagnosis

Typically, the transition is retrospectively diagnosed after menstruation has ceased for a full year; menopause is not a singular event, but a gradual process which can take between three-and-four years. The actual symptoms however, can endure for a further 10 years.

It’s estimated that 13 million women in this country are current, peri- or postmenopausal. That’s one-third of British women, usually between the ages of 45-and-65, who are experiencing some symptoms. A study by the BMS stated that, of these 13 million, 51% found that their sex lives had been affected, 47% had taken time off work, and a third stated that their mental health and confidence had been compromised.

Speak to an expert

If you take a look online you’ll see the full spectrum of opinions. When it comes to treating menopausal symptoms, or any health issue for that matter, this can be problematic. Celebrity bloggers and lifestyle gurus often have no medical background, yet despite this they frequently promote radical healthcare choices that may not be suitable to everyone.

This can be dangerous and damage women’s health further – GPs are often oversubscribed so make sure that you download and fill out my Menopause symptom checker and take it to your GP in order to make the most of your appointment.

Get in touch

If you are at all unsure about managing your menopause symptoms it is important you speak to your GP or call me on 0207 637 8820 or email to book a consultation. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

image credit: Aaron Amat

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