Advice and guidance through a potentially difficult time in your life with a variety of treatment options.
What is the menopause?
The menopause commonly occurs between 45 – 55 years of age and is a permanent state once you stop having your periods. It happens when your ovaries stop functioning or your ovaries have been removed surgically. If the menopause occurs before the age of 40 years, it is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency and requires investigations and treatment.
The perimenopause is the time (lasting from few months to few years) around the menopause when a gradual decline in oestrogen levels occur. Approximately half of all women notice physical and/or emotional symptoms during this time.
Every woman experiences the menopause differently and the symptoms vary from minimal to quite severe. Some of the most common symptoms include: Hot Flushes, Night Sweats, Vaginal Dryness, Low mood and/or feeling anxious, Joint and muscle pain, Loss of interest in having sex.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or natural hormone therapy, is the use of sex hormones that are identical on a molecular level to those occurring in your own body. They are a modern alternative to established hormone replacement therapy. They are becoming increasingly popular and Mr Aldrich will be able to discuss the benefits of this with you after taking a full history from you and a pelvic assessment.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
This is the commonest form of a prescribed medication to control menopausal symptoms. There is a lot of concern about HRT because of information gathered from the media and hearsay.
You may be suffering from very troublesome symptoms for which HRT seems to offer the most effective form of treatment. However, you may be concerned whether the treatment is going to be safe and appropriate. This is where Mr Aldrich can be of great value. Your individual circumstances need to be assessed. You need to know about the different options that are available to you. Once fully explained, you might find that how small the risks of HRT are, when compared with the benefits that can be provided. Breast cancer risk is always a concern, so it is reassuring to know that in the first few years of HRT most experts agree that there is no significant increased risk.
Non-hormonal medical treatment:
There are non-hormonal medications that can be prescribed to control symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. They can often be a good alternative, especially in women who have a contra-indication to HRT, such as a family or personal history of breast cancer.
When you are in the menopause, if you are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially after your ovaries have been removed, you may still have the symptoms of lack of testosterone. These can be low libido, lack of energy, increased tiredness, difficulty concentrating or headaches. A diagnosis can be made from your personal history alone and blood tests are not always required; however, they may be useful in some circumstances in order to monitor your treatment plan.
Not every woman chooses HRT for menopausal symptoms. This may be because of your own or family history, or because you have concerns about the safety or side effects of HRT. Mr Aldrich will be able to advise you on alternatives such as red clover, isoflavones and soya products, which can help reduce hot flushes and night sweats for some women.