As a woman, your body is constantly evolving - from puberty to menopause, to pregnancy and everything in between. But with these changes, there’s a range of health conditions you should be aware of. Whether you’re suffering from period pain, vaginal thrush, bacterial vaginosis, or the symptoms of menopause, we’ve got a variety of treatments available to get you feeling yourself again. …read moreSee less
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What are the symptoms of menopause?
Women usually start menopause between the ages of 45 to 55, with the UK average currently standing at 51.
The time before your periods stop is the perimenopausal stage, and it’s at this time that you may begin to experience symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, a reduced sex drive, difficulty sleeping, aches and pains, mood changes and problems with memory and concentration.
About 8 in 10 women will have symptoms for some time before and after their periods stop.
What can relieve period pain?
If you dread the sharp, poking, cramp-like pain in your stomach each time your period comes knocking, you might be wondering the best ways to help ease it.
By taking over-the-counter pain medicine, like ibuprofen, can help to reduce bleeding and the severity of pain during your period.
Applying heat with something like a hot water bottle or a heating pad on your belly or lower back may relieve pain, in addition to reserving time to rest.
What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush?
Thrush is a common yeast infection that can affect both men and women.
It can be an uncomfortable or embarrassing issue, but it isn’t caused by poor hygiene and it’s not sexually transmitted. The symptoms of vaginal thrush include:
- White vaginal discharge that may resemble a ‘cottage cheese’ texture. This is usually odourless.
- Itching and irritation around the vagina
- Vaginal pain during sex
- A stinging sensation when urinating
There are a lot of different types of vaginal infection and it may be confusing to try and figure out if you’ve got thrush or not.
If you’re unsure, see your GP or visit a sexual health clinic for advice.
Vaginal infections are nothing to be embarrassed about and they can be cleared up quickly and effectively with the right treatment.
Do I have thrush or BV (bacterial vaginosis)?
If you’re not sure whether you have BV or thrush just from looking at lists of symptoms there are a couple of other things you can consider.
If you’re feeling sore, itchy, or experience a burning sensation, you probably have thrush rather than BV.
BV doesn’t typically cause any pain or irritation, whereas thrush is particularly noticeable because of those irritating symptoms.
If your vaginal discharge is greyish or watery you’re probably dealing with BV, but if it’s white and looks a bit like cottage cheese you’re dealing with thrush.
If you’re noticing a strong fishy smell, then you probably have BV, as thrush rarely causes a strong smell.
No matter what you’re dealing with, get yourself to a doctor for a formal diagnosis so you know that you’re getting the right treatment for your infection.