What is menopause?

Menopause is the ceasing of a women’s menstrual period. It usually begins in a women’s late 40’s, or early 50’s where decreased amounts of hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, indicate the end of ovulation and oestrogen production.

Other than changes in menstruation patterns, the following signs mark the beginning of menopause (or perimenopause):

  • less frequent menstruation
  • heavier or lighter periods than you usually experience
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Due to the decreasing levels of oestrogen, uncomfortable symptoms are experienced during menopause including:

  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Discomfort during intercourse or reduced sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Tender breasts
  • Shrinking of breasts
  • Hair thinning or problems with hair growth
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and anxiety related to these changes
  • Increased hair growth in other areas of the body such as the face, neck, chest, and upper back

What are the treatment options?

Treatments include medications to counteract specific symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hair thinning, breast tenderness and insomnia. Alternatively, hormone replacement therapy may be able to replace the hormones that are no longer being produced naturally by the body.

Hormone replacement therapy can replace the female hormones that the body is no longer producing, treating the symptoms of menopause. Besides from menopausal women, hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment for many women who no longer produce oestrogen and progesterone, and thus are experiencing similar symptoms due to the lack of female hormones.

Although menopause is a natural process that all women face, the symptoms, however, may vary in severity for each woman. Therefore, if you feel the symptoms are affecting your quality of life or your confidence, Dr Tini may suggest hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for the symptoms.