When the menopause hits, many women experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, from hot flushes and excess sweating to mood changes and vaginal dryness. …read moreSee less
Thankfully, there are menopause treatments to help you feel yourself again. One of those treatments is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which replaces the female hormones that are at low levels during the menopause.
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How to test for the menopause
With a menopause testing kit, you can test for the menopause in the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you’re still having monthly periods, take the first menopause test during the first week of your cycle. If this result is negative but you’re still having symptoms, repeat with the second test a week later. If you’re no longer having monthly periods, take the first test anytime during the month and take the second test a week later.
Taking a menopause test is simillar to taking a pregnancy test; you hold the test into your urine stream and read the results after a few minutes, with the lines in the display window indicating whether the test is positive, negative or invalid. Alternatively, you can get a blood test from your GP to determine whether you’re in the menopause or not.
What is the menopause?
The menopause is a stage that women usually experience when they are between the ages of 45 to 55, and it refers to you stop having your periods. This can be sudden or gradual, for example, your periods may become infrequent before they stop altogether. The stage before your periods stop is called the perimenopausal stage.
When your periods stop, this means your oestrogen levels are in decline, your ovaries are no longer working and you can’t become pregnant. In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through the menopause is 51.
What is early menopause?
Early menopause is when a woman’s periods stop before the age of 45.
It can happen naturally if oestrogen is no longer being produced, as the result of cancer treatment, or from a medical condition like Turner syndrome.
The signs of early menopause are similar to the typical symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and a lack of interest in sex, difficulty sleeping, low mood, and problems with memory.
The combined contraceptive pill or HRT is usually prescribed as a substitute for missing hormones.
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.