The AMS website is often the first port of call for patients. With this in mind we have decided to create a set of fact sheets for patients, as companion sheets to the popular videos, and the other more detailed AMS Information Sheets.
Menopause what are the symptoms?
Menopause at a glance
- Every woman is affected by menopause in some way – either they experience symptoms orother physical changes.
- The average age of menopause is 51 years but you can enter menopause earlier.
- Hormonal changes cause menopausal symptoms.
- Most women will have some symptoms.
- Most women have symptoms for 5 to 10 years.
Menopause occurs when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months. Menopause is a natural part of life occurring at around age 51 years but can also happen for other reasons.
Non-hormonal treatment options for menopausal symptoms
- Your doctor can suggest prescription medication options for your menopausal symptoms if you are unable to or do not want to use menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
- Prescription medication options can help with hot flushes, sweatsand changes in mood and sleep patterns.
- Specific antidepressants and epilepsy medications can help with menopausal symptoms in many women.
- A blood pressure drug (clonidine) can give relief for some women with milder symptomsDownload
What is Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) and is it safe?
- MHT (also known as Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT) covers a range of hormonal treatments that can reduce menopausal symptoms.
- MHT is the most effective way to control menopausal symptoms while also giving other health benefits.
- MHT is safe to use for most women in their 50s or for the first 10 years after the onset of menopause.
- The risk for blood clots, stroke and breast cancer while taking MHT are very small and lower than for many other risk factors such as being overweight.
- Different types of MHT are associated with different risks. Your doctor can work with you to reduce your risk by using different hormonal treatment options.
Complementary medicine options for menopausal symptoms
- Complementary medicine is used to describe a wide range of health care medicines, therapies (forms of treatment that do not involve medicines) and other products that are not generally considered as part of conventional medicine
- Some complementary medicines may help with mild symptoms, but there is little evidence that many popular complementary medicines help with symptoms or are safe.
- Speak with your doctor before using complementary medicine because they might affect other medications.
- Avoid buying online products – their safety cannot be guaranteed.
- You should not use soy/ phytoestrogen products if you can’t take prescribed hormone therapy for safety reasons such as breast cancer.
- Bio-identical compounded hormone therapy cannot be recommended because their safety is unknown.
- No complementary medicine is as effective as oestrogen therapy for menopausal symptoms
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Content updated May 2018