Menopause Perth

Everything you need to know about menopause

menopause Perth Women's Health

In a nutshell

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life. It means you won’t have periods any more. Generally, if you haven’t had a period for a year, you’ve reached menopause, usually around your mid-late forties to early-mid fifties. However, it can start earlier for some, and there are often other signs and changes before the full onset of menopause. 

Menopause Perth

What is menopause and perimenopause?

What is menopause?

Menopause marks the time of a woman’s last period, officially confirmed after a year without any periods or spotting. It means your ovaries have stopped producing oestrogen and progesterone, two key hormones for reproduction. Because these hormone levels decline, your periods stop. 

The majority of women experience menopause between 45 and 55, and in Australia the average age is around 51 to 52.

“You might be familiar with women mentioning hot flushes and night sweats when discussing menopause. However, there’s a broader range of symptoms, and interestingly, some women don’t experience any at all.” 

Dr Padma Jatoth
Dr Padma Jatoth
Gynaecologist Perth

Typical physical manifestations of menopause are:

  • Hot flushes and nocturnal sweating,
  • Sleep disturbances,
  • Frequent headaches,
  • Aches in muscles and joints,
  • Vaginal dryness leading to discomfort during intercourse,
  • Tender breasts.

Emotional menopause symptoms

  • Mood fluctuations, including feelings of sadness or depression,
  • Persistent fatigue,
  • Memory lapses,
  • Difficulty in focusing, often described as ‘brain fog’,
  • Feelings of anxiety.

When you are reading this and you recognise menopause symptoms but you are younger than 45, you may be in – what we call – ‘early menopause’. If it happens before your 40th birthday we call it ‘premature menopause. 

Early menopause happens to about 5% of women and premature menopause to about 1% of women. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy can induce it. However, sometimes it’s due to genetic or autoimmune factors, and in some cases the cause remains unclear.

What is perimenopause?

Before hitting menopause, many women go through a transitional phase known as ‘perimenopause’. It’s when your ovaries gradually begin to make less oestrogen. This leads to changes in menstrual cycle patterns and a range of other symptoms. 

Physical symptoms:

  • Hot flushes and nocturnal sweating, also known as vasomotor symptoms (VMS),
  • Sensitivity or tenderness in the breasts,
  • Increased severity of premenstrual symptoms,
  • Lower libido,
  • Unpredictable menstrual cycles, often termed perimenopausal periods,
  • Dryness in the vagina or pain during intercourse,
  • Urine leakage upon coughing or sneezing,
  • Frequent and sudden urges to urinate.

Emotional symptoms:

  • Emotional fluctuations,
  • Difficulties in getting restful sleep,
  • Challenges with short-term memory recall,
  • Difficulty focusing or maintaining attention.

Gynaecologist Perth menopause

How can I manage my symptoms?

Finding the best management strategy might require some patience. There are a few things you can do before making an appointment with a gynaecologist. 

“Making certain lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Making sure your diet is balanced, hydrating often, engaging in consistent physical activity, and achieving a healthy weight are important. Improving your sleep and cutting down on habits like excessive alcohol intake or smoking can also help.” 

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth gynaecologist

If these lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient, consider discussing Hormone Replacement Therapy options with our gynaecologists at Perth Women’s Health.

menopause Perth Women's Health

Hormone Replacement Therapy Perth

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a medication that contains oestrogen, progesterone and sometimes testosterone. It is used to manage your symptoms.
“Think of it like a tool to balance the hormones your body misses during menopause.”
Dr Padma Jatoth
Dr Padma Jatoth
Gynaecologist Perth

You can take HRT in different forms, whether that’s a pill, a patch, a gel, or even treatments specifically for vaginal discomfort. What’s best for you depends on your age, if you’ve ever had surgeries like a hysterectomy, and any other risk factors you may have. 

“The benefits of HRT usually outweigh the risks. Recent evidence says that the risks of serious side effects from HRT are very low.”

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth gynaecologist

Benefits of HRT:

  • Relieving menopause symptoms: Improves perimenopause and menopause symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, anxiety, and vaginal dryness.
  • Preventing osteoporosis: Increases oestrogen levels, which are vital for bone health, reducing the risk of bone thinning and fractures.
  • Maintaining muscle strength: Helps in preserving muscle strength commonly lost during menopause; exercising remains essential.

Risks of HRT:

  • Breast cancer: Slight increase in breast cancer risk, with around 5 extra cases in 1,000 women taking combined HRT for 5 years; risk reduces post discontinuation.
  • Blood clots: HRT tablets have a minor risk of causing blood clots; patches, sprays, and gels do not present this risk due to skin absorption of oestrogen.
  • Stroke: HRT tablets marginally increase stroke risk, especially negligible for those under 60; patches, gel, or spray do not carry this risk.

If Hormone Replacement Therapy sounds like something you would like to explore, please make an appointment here at Perth Women’s Health. 

Menopause Perth Women’s Health

Perth Women’s Health for Menopause

Menopause can be a significant and sometimes challenging phase in your life, and at Perth Women’s Health, we’re here to provide the support you need throughout this journey. 

We recognise that when you have questions or concerns, you don’t want to wait for answers. That’s why we offer appointments without long delays, ensuring you have timely access to care.

Menopause is a transition that requires consistency in healthcare. At Perth Women’s Health, we prioritise continuity of care, so you won’t be passed from one provider to another.

We value open and empathetic communication. Our team is here to listen, discuss, and understand your unique experience of menopause.

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