How do I know if I’m going through the menopause?
The menopause usually happens aged around 51 or 52, but many women start to experience symptoms in their mid to late 40’s. You are considered to have gone through the menopause if you have not had a period for 12 months.
The most obvious sign that you may be starting the menopause is changes to your normal pattern of periods – they may occur erratically and you may also notice that they are lighter or heavier than usual.
How will it affect me?
You may also experience other symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, headaches, achy joints and tiredness. Many women experience mood swings, feeling depressed, anxious or irritable for no obvious reason. Some find it difficult to remember things or to focus on a task. You may also find that having sex is difficult or even painful.
Once you have gone through the menopause you will not be able to conceive. This means that you will not need to worry about contraception anymore.
Is there a blood test that confirms you’ve been through the menopause?
Hormone Replacement Therapy
We can test your blood for levels of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that regulates the release of eggs from your ovaries each month. This test may need to be carried out several times over a few months to get an accurate reading as hormone levels can fluctuate.