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Peri-menopause: the symptoms

Are you “there’ yet?

According to Menopause Specialist, Dr Louise Newsom, around a quarter of women report few symptoms associated with menopause, or if they have any, they do not impact their lives to any significant degree. Which means, or course, that 75% of us are affected by the natural, physical process of declining hormone levels as we head towards our 50s.  

Symptoms associated with the menopause usually begin several years before menstruation stops.This transitionary phase, known as the peri-menopause, is when the ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen. 

According to the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service), the average time symptoms are experienced is 4 years, though about 1 in 10 women experience them for up to 12 years. 

The menopause itself occurs when the ovaries finally stop producing eggs altogether and is judged to be complete when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.

Common symptoms (“officially”...

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Sleep

How well do you sleep? 

  • Do you drop off like a well fed baby and stay asleep all night?
  • Or do you toss and turn, then, when you finally drop off, end up awake several times during the night? 
  • Are you constantly kicking off the covers, then finding yourself freezing?
  • Wake up in the night and need to change sweat-soaked nightclothes?
  • Make frequent visits to the bathroom?
  • Do you feel refreshed in the morning?
  • Are you sleepy during the day?

A change in sleep patterns is one thing that many of us start to notice as we enter peri-menopause. Whereas previously we might have slept happily for 8 hours a night, suddenly we start having trouble getting to sleep and/or trouble staying asleep on a regular basis.

“I used to sleep like a log from 11-7. Now I’m lucky if I manage 6 hours total, and that will be interrupted by at least one trip to the loo!  It drives me crazy because it definitely affects my concentration at work.” Sally. 

Sometimes,...

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