Female Climber Series: Perimenopause and Menopause
There have been some break throughs in this area recently with the introduction of the subject into schools, charities being launched, and Davina Mccall doing a documentary to open up the conversation!
One of the main things to realise is that menopause is not like a switch… you are not premenopausal one day and postmenopausal the next. It is a transition that happens over time, as our sex hormone production starts to change. This transition phase is called the perimenopause.
So how do we know if we are experiencing symptoms of perimenopause?
- The symptoms of perimenopause can start from the early forties (although the ceasing of periods before the age of 45 is considered early menopause) so keep track and educate yourself. Apps such as Balance are a great place to start!
- The symptoms of perimenopause are wide ranging but may include hot flushes, extreme fatigue, mood changes, changes in anxiety/fear (this could be particularly important for climbers!), memory loss, brain fog… You get the picture. A number of these symptoms could be caused by lots of other things, which is why gathering the whole range of symptoms and a timeframe is useful. This is great information to take to the doctors if you decide to seek medical advice.
- Be an informed patient. There has been a number of surveys looking at the treatment of menopause by GPs, and there has been a history of poor information about HRT.
Head over to The Menopause Doctor website for more information or check out @menopause_doctor. HRT may not be right for everyone and is everyones personal decision, but better an informed decision!