By Aly Dilks, Advanced nurse practitioner with a specialist interest in menopause from Simply Menopausal

Hormonal decline associated with Menopause is a process, and not an illness or a disease.

Every woman will go through this at some point, whether they notice it or not. All women need to be aware of the fact that natural hormonal decline is inevitable, and not something you opt out of or wonder if it’s happening to you or not.

However, what is variable in intensity and impact, are the combination of symptoms each and every women experiences. You may notice some, but more often there are many you don’t.

Symptoms may include, but not exclusive to – Night sweats, hot flushes, irregular periods, mood swings, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, headaches, breast soreness, burning mouth, joint pain, digestive problems, muscle tension, gum problems, tingling extremities, itchy skin, crushing fatigue, anxiety, disrupted sleep, hair loss, memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, unexplained weight gain, dizzy spells, bloating, stress incontinence, brittle nails, allergies, irregular heartbeat, unusual body odour, irritability, depression, feelings of panic.

Some women can have very few symptoms during their menopausal years, and their periods just stop. Alternatively, heavy bleeding can occur and be not only very uncomfortable, but also a logistical nightmare. If this sounds like you we recommend the CupIT Period Kit from Secret Whispers.

Other women suffer a variety of mental and physical challenges, many of which can be very debilitating, having a negative effect upon their quality of life. In turn this can have an impact on relationships with their partner, family and work colleagues.
Many women confuse their symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, aches & pains, poor sleep and worsening migraines, with working too hard and busy lifestyles. However, the real cause of these life-changing effects could be falling hormone levels. Obviously some women have restricted treatment options when it comes to coping with their symptoms, which is why seeking advice from a health care professional is highly recommended, rather than Dr Google or Aunty Facebook.

There are many different strategies you can adopt to help alleviate the symptoms, and improve your quality of life during the different phases of hormonal decline, called peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause. You can choose to supplement hormone levels to a restorative level, and minimise the impact hormonal decline can have on your well-being with hormone replacement therapy.

Taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), slows the rapid decline of hormones, significantly reducing the symptoms associated with the menopause. In addition HRT has many long-term health benefits.  These include protecting you against osteoporosis and heart disease.

There are of course women who are unable to take hormone replacement therapy because of an underlying health condition, and some women feel it’s just not for them. Information and knowledge is key to making the right decision for you. There are many treatment pathways to choose for best results and that’s why it’s important to speak to a medically qualified menopause specialist.

There are so many women who are suffering unnecessarily due to a lack of knowledge and understanding around the symptoms of hormonal decline. Putting off seeing a specialist because it’s ‘not too bad’, ‘I can cope’ or ‘I’m too young’ does not have to be the way you approach this.

It’s never been easier to connect with the right kind of specialist, to support you with long-term hormone & menopause related health care choices. If you’ve been thinking about seeking advice on symptoms of menopause, or maybe you’re not sure if it is or isn’t menopause, then now is a really good time to pick up your laptop and book and appointment.

Our nurses can also offer diet and lifestyle advice and prescribe alternatives to HRT. If gaining access to a medically trained health care professional, with a specialist interest in menopause, has been a challenge for you, then do please get in contact with us.

You could be speaking to one of our registered nurses in no time at at all.