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Menopause and Peri menopause

My experience and advice

This can be a really challenging time for women both from the symptoms we experience individually to the patient - GP experience that many face when they make that first appointment seeking advice. 


My experience was not positive and contributed to the factors that made me unwell.  I did not access the right help, support and was not able to access HRT due to GP inexperience/lack of training.  This was not due to a single GP either; I sought help from 2018 and each time was turned away or offered anti depressants.  Whilst anti depressants do impact brain chemistry, they are not the best treatment for an imbalance/decrease in important hormone levels - oestrogen and testosterone in particular which are vital to all areas of our health and especially heart, brain and bone health.


My advice: 

1. Do your own homework before you see a GP.  Use the amazing resources made available on the Balance website / Newson health. There are resources to print and plenty of  YouTube videos that you can watch with Dr Louise Newson/Dr Rebecca Lewis explaining in detail what you need to know


2. Print off the relevant information sheets and take with you to your GP appointment.

3. Be clear about what you want and what you don't want. Here's a link to Dr Louise Newson detailing HRT and alternatives

4. Refuse to be "fobbed off", ask the practice manager who is most qualified to undertake a consultation and also ask which GP has undertaken the free course offered to better equip health professionals.  Link to further information on this which you can share here.

5. Blood tests to indicate you being peri menopausal are somewhat unreliable as hormone levels fluctuate so much.  Symptomatic diagnosis is very straight forward with the multiple symptoms we may experience.  Be firm with the GP regarding the speed at which you want treatment.  

6.  If HRT is an option you would like to pursue [and one I would highly recommend], do not be fobbed off with the cheaper all in one tablet option - ask for body identical HRT. [Youtube]. The tablet form of HRT has to be metabolised by the liver and does some higher risk whereas transdermal is absorbed via the skin.


7. If you are unsure about how well your body might respond to HRT and its safety, consider a DUTCH test which will provide an indication of your body's processing pathway. For more information:

Stomach Pain
Menopause signs and symptoms - two identical banners showing a female palm up hand, one wi
30 Common Symptoms of Menopause
  • Hot flushes/flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Weight gain

  • Tiredness 

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety 

  • Depression

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory loss

  • Irregular periods flooding /continual bleeding

  • Hair loss

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Incontinence

  • Brittle nails

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Breast pain

  • Headaches

  • Joint pain

  • Burning mouth syndrome

  • Sensation of electric shocks

  • Digestive issues

  • Gum problems 

  • Muscle tension

  • Itchy skin 

  • Tingling in limbs 

  • Bloating 

  • Allergies 

  • Body odour changes

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