The menopause is a natural process that occurs between 45 and 55 years old when females stop having periods. The average age in the UK is 51years. Symptoms are due to the reducing levels of oestrogen in the body and can begin months or years before periods stop, and can continue for years after the last period. Symptoms commonly include irregular/less frequent periods, hot flushes/ night sweats, vaginal dryness /pain during intercourse, low mood/anxiety, poor sleep/fatigue, reduced libido, poor concentration, headaches including migraines and less commonly recurrent urine infections, urinary incontinence and joint pains. Some women may not have any symptoms whilst others may have all of them and last for years.

NB This is a wide range of symptoms and there is a lot of overlap with other medical problems e.g. thyroid irregularities, depression. Please speak to a GP if you are unsure or concerned your symptoms are not due to the menopause.

Any woman over the age of 45 years old with any of the symptoms described above is considered menopausal. Once 12 months has passed since the last period, a woman is classed as ‘post-menopausal’ even though they may continue to experience menopausal symptoms.

Blood tests are not routinely recommended over the age of 45 years because the tests are not very specific and vary widely throughout the menstrual cycle.

Women who are struggling to function in their activities of daily living should be encouraged to speak to a GP to discuss their symptoms. All our GPs have experience in managing menopause with Dr Hannah Davidson being our in-house specialist. It is helpful if you can submit the following menopause checklist form with your request for an appointment

Please complete the HRT questionnaire if you are already established on hormone replacement therapy.

Contraception is required up until the age of 54 yrs or at least 2 years since your last period if under 50yrs or 1 year if over 50 years.

In House Contraception

If you are interested in a contraceptive coil or implant, please request a telephone appointment with Dr Hannah Davidson.

CNWL Sexual Health Services

Sexual health, contraception and HIV services in London and Surrey are provided by Central and North West London Sexual Health Services.


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