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What is the Menopause

Menopause is the natural stage of life when your menstrual periods have stopped, and you can no longer become pregnant. Some people confuse menopause with perimenopause – the time leading up to your last period.

After menopause, your body makes much less of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Very low oestrogen levels after menopause can affect your health and cause many symptoms. Menopause is experienced by cisgender women and may also affect people assigned female at birth. Each person will experience menopause differently, with different symptoms and severity. The average age of menopause in the UK is 51, but there’s a lot of variation, so your menopause may happen sooner or later than this.

Surgical Menopause

Some people may experience surgical menopause. When a person has a hysterectomy where the ovaries are removed, menopause occurs immediately after.


Perimenopause is the stage of life that occurs before your menstrual periods stop.

During perimenopause, hormonal changes cause your ovaries to produce fewer eggs. This can lead to irregular periods and a range of other symptoms which affect everyone differently.

Perimenopause is a natural part of aging that happens between the ages of 45 and 60 for most people, although some experience it before 40.It can last from as little as a few months to a decade or more. Perimenopause stops once you’ve gone a whole year without having a period. When this happens, you have reached menopause.

Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause

Everyone experiences menopause and perimenopause differently. Some people might have none or very mild symptoms, whilst others may have many more severe symptoms.

The symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Mood swings

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

  • Hot flashes

  • Joint pain

  • Bone loss

  • Lack of energy

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of libido

  • Brain fog

  • Irregular periods

  • Interrupted sleep

  • Headaches

  • Itchy skin

  • Night sweats

Symptoms of menopause and perimenopause can significantly impact your life if they are severe or persistent. You might find it hard to carry on as usual at work and home and find your relationships with people are affected. Fortunately, there are a range of menopause treatment options that can help you cope with these symptoms. If you’re struggling, worried, or confused about menopause or your symptoms, you might find peace of mind speaking to someone who can discuss your options.

Our menopause services include a range of options including blood tests and advice to suit your needs. Take a look at our Menopause Services now.


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Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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