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Help to Manage Menopause

 

‘Menopause’ is defined as the last period a woman experiences and the average age of onset is 50. As women, we are now living well into our 80s, and this means that potentially women are left with symptoms of menopause for up to 35 years.

 

It has been shown that 60% of women will experience mild symptoms for approximately 4 – 8 years, 20% will have no symptoms and 20% will experience severe symptoms which last into their 60’s or longer.

 

The symptoms of menopause can range from obvious – such as hot flushes – however some can be more subtle such as vaginal dryness and discomfort, painful intercourse, recurrent thrush or urinary tract infections, anxiety and even palpitations.  The lack of oestrogen and lack of sleep can also affect mood and it is not uncommon for women to experience low mood around this time also.

 

There are different treatments available to help women deal with the symptoms of menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was once the mainstay of treatment but unfortunately it fell out of favour for a few years and had some very negative press.  We now recognise that HRT is a safe option and the Australian Menopause Society recommends HRT for women who are symptomatic as it can help with symptoms and improve bone density.

 

There are also non-hormonal options available, the most recent of which is a vaginal laser therapy known as the Mona Lisa Touch treatment, which targets the symptoms of painful intercourse and vaginal dryness. This treatment has been available in Australia since 2013 and has been very successful for many women.

 

Women who are concerned about menopausal symptoms should see their GP as the treatments are varied and can be tailored to each person’s specific requirements.

 

 

In light of International Woman’s Day on March 8, this article was written by Dr. Alison Philpott and published in the Western Suburbs Weekly in March, 2017.

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