Posted on: 6 September 2022
Menopause is characterised by hormonal changes and the end of periods for women. It's typical for women to enter menopause in their fifties, but some women will reach this stage of their lives in their forties. Becoming menopausal can bring mixed feelings, and you may find you're happy to say goodbye to your menstrual bleeding but sad that your childbearing days are at an end.
Hormonal changes, such as reduced oestrogen and progesterone levels, can also cause you to experience some unpleasant symptoms, such as weight gain, hot flashes and low mood. The presence of such side effects and their severity will vary from woman to woman, but you don't need to feel stuck or alone when you enter menopause. Your doctor can provide support in a range of ways and it's not uncommon for women to consult with their doctor during menopause. Here are a few of the ways your doctor can help when you enter menopause:
Low mood can occur during menopause due to chemical changes caused by a drop in the levels of certain hormones. This same mechanism can slow down your metabolism and impact your appetite, causing weight gain. Your GP can prescribe hormone replacement therapy, which aims to balance your hormone levels using synthetic hormones. Hormone replacement therapy can resolve many of the common symptoms associated with menopause including hot flashes, vaginal dryness and loss of libido, but it can take a few tries to get the dosage right for your needs, so keep communicating with your doctor and work with them to establish the right combination of hormone replacement therapy for you.
Mental Health Services
Whether your mental health is suffering due to a drop in hormone levels or because you're struggling to come to terms with the stage of life you have entered, talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. They may be able to determine whether you are depressed or whether you require the intervention of a mental health specialist to make a diagnosis. They can also refer you to mental health support services available at your health centre, such as one-to-one counselling or a support group run by a qualified counsellor.
If you find your weight is creeping up despite eating and exercising as you always have done, your doctor can refer you to a weight management clinic. Health centres often run these clinics and they are staffed by specially trained nurses or dieticians. They can help you keep track of your weight and work with you to develop meal plans that are nutritionally complete and aimed at keeping your weight within the healthy range.
If you've entered menopause and are struggling with any aspect of this big change, don't keep your struggles to yourself. Make an appointment with a doctor and find out how they can help get you feeling more like yourself again.Share