The menopause is when our periods stop, and we can no longer become pregnant naturally. In the UK, the average age for menopause is 51. This does not happen overnight, prior to this we experience the perimenopause.
There is a gradual transition leading to the menopause, for some it can last a few months or for others it may be years. The perimenopause lasts on average 4 years and starts around the age of 45.
The Menopause Charity identify the following perimenopausal symptoms:
The theme for this year’s World Menopause Awareness Day (18th October) is Bone Health. We develop our bone density throughout our lives, as children, teenagers and as adults. Between the ages of 30-40 our bone density decreases. At the menopausal stage bone health also starts to reduce. Oestrogen production, which helps repair bone structure declines. This can make us more at risk of bone and muscle disorders such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
What can be done to help? The Royal Osteoporosis Society advises:
Eileen Munson, Senior Lecturer in Advanced Practice and Community Health Nursing, set up the Menopause Lounge to educate and empower women.