Women’s Health Week – Menopause Update

September 5, 2022

By Dr Rebecca Goodman

During women’s health week, we are raising awareness about perimenopause and menopause. Most people with a uterus start going through perimenopause (the phase before menopause) between 45 and 55 years but some might be later, or earlier. Menopause is a normal phase when you stop ovulating (getting your periods) for 12 months or more.

Everyone going through perimenopause and menopause has a different journey but for some, the symptoms can affect their quality of life. People going through perimenopause may be working and supporting dependent children as well as elderly parents. Their lives are busy and fluctuating symptoms can make it difficult to function.

This is an important time for a check-up with your GP to help manage any symptoms and consider preventative health issues including bone and cardiovascular health, as risks increase after menopause.


Perimenopause and menopause symptoms vary for each person but can include:

  • hot flushes and night sweats, and poor sleep
  • changes to period- can be very extremely heavy to irregular and light
  • mood changes (including anxiety, irritation, and depression which can be severe)
  • forgetfulness
  • headaches
  • sore breasts
  • aches and pains
  • dry vagina and reduced sex drive
  • dry, itchy skin
  • weight gain.


There are several options for the management of symptoms including:

  • maintaining a healthy diet and drinking lots of water
  • regular sleep routine
  • exercising most days
  • when you feel hot
    • use a fan or water spray
    • wear layered clothing and take layers off
  • relaxation classes like yoga and meditation
  • psychological therapies if needed
  • medication (menopausal hormone therapy).

Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT), previously known as Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT, is safe for most people with a uterus in their 40s and 50s or for the first 10 years after the onset of perimenopause. There are many different types of MHT available including patches, tablets, gels, implants and natural therapies. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of MHT for you as an individual. Many people find MHT medication life-changing and can function, and feel like themselves, again. Other medications, such as antidepressants, can help to manage mood and reduce hot flushes and sweating.