Be sure to read up on Living with the menopause (Part One)

What are the complications of the menopause?

As mentioned in part one, the menopausal symptoms are caused by a lack of oestrogen. This lack of oestrogen can also cause long-term complications for women such as:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease- e.g. heart attacks and strokes
  • Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
  • Urinary incontinence- leakage of urine
  • Weight gain

How do I know if I have gone through the menopause?

If you are 56 or older you have gone through the menopause.

If you are under the age of 50 and have not had a period for 2 years it is safe to say you have gone through the menopause.

If you are over 50 and have not had a period for a year then you have gone through the menopause.
However, if you have had a hysterectomy (removal of your womb but you still have your ovaries) or you are currently using some form of contraception (e.g. mini pill/mirena coil/implanon rod/depo injection), and are over the age of 50, or you are already using HRT, you can see your GP to have some blood tests done to help diagnose the menopause.

This is because we cannot rely on your periods to know if you have gone through the menopause as if you have had a hysterectomy you will not have any, and if you use contraception they may come at random times or not at all.
Why is it important to know if i have gone through the menopause?

There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. Once we know you have gone through the menopause we can look at stopping your contraception as there is no risk that you will fall pregnant. This is usually 1 year after your last period if you are over the age of 50, and 2 years after your last period if you are under 50.
  2. To help guide treatment, HRT falls into 2 categories, ones that we give if you’re going through the pre-menopausal stage, and ones that we give in the post-menopausal stage (after you have gone through the menopause).

In summary

The menopause can be a strange and overwhelming time for women as changes occur throughout your body. If you are unsure whether you are going through or have gone through the menopause go and see your GP. There are lots of treatments that can be given to help with the symptoms and I will talk about these in the next article.

Be sure to read up on Living with the menopause (Part One)

Be Sociable, Share!
Download ebook