The menopause is part of the natural ageing process and occurs when our ovaries gradually stop producing eggs. Pre-menopause, our ovaries produce eggs approximately every four weeks. As we age, our sex hormones change and rebalance. The production of oestrogen, the hormone that regulates our ovaries and periods, gradually decreases and our ovaries fail to produce an egg each month. This fall in oestrogen levels can cause the physical and psychological symptoms of the menopause.
* Most women stop having periods between 50 and 51 but there is a wide variation so anywhere from 45 to about 55 is normal.
* 15pc of women go through the menopause below 45.
* Menopausal symptoms include a change in menstruation either erratic or no periods, lethargy, hot flushes and night sweats, moods swings, general aches and pains and stiffness.
Once you start experiencing any changes to your cycle, or other symptoms you can assume you have begun peri-menopause
Many women feel like they are out of control or going mad and feel that menopause is one of the cause factors of marriage breakups and family disharmony. To add insult to injury there seems to be very little help or support given to women experiencing this transition in their lives leading to feelings of isolation and grief . What women need is a support system and personalised advice and programmes to help them make this transition in their lives more manageable. If you are suffering please know that you are not alone and good treatment and counsel is available to you.