Women’s Health Service in Swansea

As women age there can be a lot to contend with. We are often juggling children, jobs and potentially ageing parents as well, and if this isn’t enough to manage, our bodies’ biology starts to change as we start the journey towards the menopause.

As women age there can be a lot to contend with. We are often juggling children, jobs and potentially ageing parents as well, and if this isn’t enough to manage, our bodies’ biology starts to change as we start the journey towards the menopause.

Fortunately, in today’s fast-paced world of information sharing, we are becoming a lot more educated around the changes that happen to women’s bodies. We not only know that when our periods stop for a period of 12 months we have reached the menopause, but we also know about the changes that are happening to our bodies before we reach the menopause, and we call this time the perimenopause. 

What is perimenopause?

The perimenopause is the time leading up to the menopause where women may start to notice changes in how they feel and in their menstrual cycles. This process can start around the age of 35 and is brought on by our bodies natural decline in making hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Perimenopause can last up to 10 years and can be marked by symptoms such as menstruation becoming longer, shorter, irregular or by heavier or lighter periods. However, some women will enter perimenopause and not experience any changes to their menstrual cycle.

There are a range of other symptoms that may be experienced as part of perimenopause but some common ones include mind and mood changes, flushing, night sweats, feeling too hot, too warm, or even feeling too chilly. 

Managing these symptoms can be very difficult for women and without compassionate advice and treatment, perimenopause can be a stressful time of life.

At The Grove Skin & Laser Clinic in Swansea we run a dedicated service for women who are seeking effective treatments for perimenopause and beyond and would welcome the opportunity to help you through this process if the perimenopause is causing you concern or distress.

What happens after perimenopause?

The perimenopause marks a time in our lives when vital hormones that allow us to reproduce begin declining. Around the age of 45-55 years old our ovaries will stop producing these hormones. We call this stage of our lives the menopause.

What is menopause?

When our ovaries are no longer producing oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone we are in the menopause. This stage of women’s lives is marked by no longer having monthly periods. The exact definition of the menopause is when you have not had a period for 12 months. On average most women in the UK will have experienced the menopause by age 51, with 80% of women being menopausal by the time they are 54.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Each woman has a unique and varied biology and as a result of this there are many different symptoms women can experience as part of their journey towards the menopause and beyond.

Some of the common symptoms that may be experienced include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of collagen and volume in the skin
  • Breakouts and hormonal acne
  • Joint aches
  • Low sexual desire or libido changes
  • Vaginal dryness 
  • Vaginal atrophy (thinning, dryness or inflammation of the vaginal walls)
  • Pain while having intercourse
  • Urinary changes including urinary incontinence
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain (particularly around the abdomen, waist and thighs)
  • Palpitations
  • Changes in confidence and motivation levels

This list is not exhaustive, so if you are in perimenopause or transitioning towards menopause we would urge you to get advice about your symptoms from a clinical specialist who is experienced in this area of women’s health.

What is the right way to manage my menopause symptoms?

There is no one size fits all response to how each woman should manage her menopause symptoms. Some women will choose HRT whereas some women would like to make this transition using only natural medicines. 

At The Grove Skin & Laser Clinic we offer both HRT & BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy) which is a type of HRT that uses hormones which have an identical chemical structure to the naturally occurring hormones that are produced in the body. These differ from synthetic hormones used in traditional HRT.

Jodie Grove is our women’s health specialist. She is a registered nurse and a proud member of the British Menopause Society. When you come to see Jodie at our clinic in Swansea she will take you through a thorough consultation that takes into account all facets of your life, including nutrition and wellbeing, so that she can provide a treatment plan that improves your menopause symptoms and fits in with your lifestyle.

Ultimately managing your life with the right specialist advice, eating well, exercising and the right treatment plan can help to improve menopause symptoms.

What can I expect post-menopause?

Many women spend a lot of their lives caring for other people and it is only when the symptoms of menopause start that they start to focus on their own health.

Putting the emphasis on your own self care at what can be a difficult time for some women can open the doors to a lifetime of lifestyle changes that will improve your long term health outlook.

When you have transitioned through the process of the menopause your body will be in a new phase of life. The hormones that we had in our younger years will be gone and this can lead to other health concerns, such as poor bone health, weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease or dementia.

By putting healthy lifestyle changes in place you will be ensuring a better health outlook for yourself throughout the menopause and beyond.

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