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Menopause Month - Menopause Symptoms

Updated: Oct 19, 2022


My name is Suzanne I am a Nurse Practitioner working at Blend Skin and Beauty and also in

a busy city practice. I have a special interest in women’s health and earlier this year

completed a Menopause Course with the British Menopause Society. This not only

enhanced my knowledge in this area, but also increased my passion for women’s health.

October is World Menopause Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness

around the menopause. Menopause is a normal, natural stage of women’s lives when their

hormone levels decline and periods cease.

All women should have access to menopause services however, women’s experience of the

menopause services around the country varies; even today. This should not be the case and

you may have heard recently about the campaign to ensure all women have access to

advice and even the campaign to make hormonal replacement treatment free to all.


Clinical Background


There are numerous symptoms that a woman may suffer whilst going through the

menopause, irregular and intermittent periods, the feelings of hot flushes specifically during

the night, this is often the most talked about and well-known symptom. However, there are

other symptoms which can be detrimental to work and life in general.


A common symptom I hear patients talk about is the feeling of brain fog. This is an umbrella

term for symptoms that affect your ability to think clearly. One study reported that around

60% of middle-aged women may suffer from cognitive difficulties during perimenopause,

which could last between 4-12 years (McKay 2021). If you are experiencing menopausal

brain fog, it is important to remember you are not alone and there is help available.


In the past, symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, depression, loss of confidence and poor

concentration have been mis-diagnosed. Women in the past have sometimes been “talked

out” of taking HRT and given anti-anxiety or anti-depressants instead. It has been

acknowledged in the past that HRT, has been a “black heart” for some GPs, as they were

concerned, incorrectly about the safety profile.


However, more recently, published findings show that although not entirely risk free, HRT

remains the most effective solution for the relief of menopausal symptoms and is also

effective for the prevention of osteoporosis and heart disease (BMS 2022).


Many women are not aware that vaginal atrophy (which is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls), occurs when your body has less oestrogen and can occur following during and following the menopause. For many women, vaginal atrophy not only makes intercourse painful but also leads to distressing urinary symptoms. Vaginal atrophy is not readily spoken about and often woman feel isolated or abnormal. This symptom can be part of the normal ageing process and there are treatment options available to women who want to take back control of their body.


In summary women wishing to commence HRT should carefully discuss the benefits and

risks of treatment with their clinician. Their age, medical history, risk factors and personal

preferences should be considered. For most women who use HRT for the short-term, the

benefit of treatment is considered to outweigh the risks and with newer, safer hormone

therapy, there has never been a better time to be a woman.


Due to the demand of menopausal services, I am going to offer a Menopause Counselling

Service at Blend in the coming months. Please follow Blend on social media, to keep

updated.


These websites below may be of help. Both provide up-to-date, accurate information about

the menopause, symptoms and different treatment options.




BMS (2022) The British Menopause Society accessed:



Dr Sarah McKay (2021) The brain fog of menopause accessed:




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