About perimenopause

The perimenopause occurs over ten years or more, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, most women are still having monthly periods but can start to experience a wide range of troublesome symptoms, particularly cyclical menstrual problems, which are often the first sign of the perimenopause.

Too often, perimenopause is dismissed or ignored completely, but this time can significantly impact your physical, psychological and emotional health and wellbeing if help is not provided. The team of experts at The Amara Clinic can diagnose perimenopause, put together a holistic care package, and provide ongoing support to your hormonal health during this difficult time.

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause when women still have periods, although these may no longer be regular. The perimenopause typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55, although everyone is different, and some women can start to experience symptoms from their late 30s onwards.

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Perimenopause diagnosis

Every year, women experiencing perimenopause are left either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. There is a worrying lack of awareness of perimenopause not only amongst women but also amongst healthcare practitioners. This is partly due to a lack of training and educations in this area for GPs and Gynaecologists, meaning that many women feel confused, alone and abandoned during this extremely difficult time. Unfortunately, medications such as antidepressants are often prescribed inappropriately to perimenopausal women when the correct approach is a modern, individually adjusted HRT regime.

Menopause is irreversible but not insurmountable. At The Amara Clinic, we believe the lower the threshold for diagnosis, the sooner treatment can start, and the more empowered a woman can feel during her menopause journey.

Perimenopause diagnosis problems

Many women experiencing the perimenopause are wrongly told they have conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic fatigue. Being referred to cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, or psychiatrists is not unusual. Others are dismissed and told their symptoms are psychosomatic. Who’d have thought a perimenopause diagnosis could be so elusive?

Depression tends to be the most common misdiagnosis because many women experiencing perimenopause have a low mood or struggle with their mental health. It takes a deeper investigation by an experienced health professional to identify perimenopause as the cause.

Struggling to get a perimenopause diagnosis can be draining. NHS delays following the pandemic can have a serious impact, with waiting times for perimenopause referrals running into months and years rather than weeks.

The Amara Clinic can provide private, personalised assessment and care at a time that suits you.

Expert perimenopause diagnosis

If you're experiencing problems reaching a diagnosis, the experts at The Amara Clinic are here to help. The specialist team has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the perimenopause and menopause journey. We look beyond your symptoms and blood test results to diagnose perimenopause and restore your hormonal health.

During perimenopause, your hormone levels often remain stable, and changes do not always appear in blood tests, rendering them ineffective. The NHS tends to rely too heavily on hormone blood tests to diagnose perimenopause, but NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines state that women do not require blood tests to confirm a perimenopausal diagnosis.

At The Amara Clinic, we treat each woman as an individual. We never diagnose through blood tests alone; we believe in making a clinical diagnosis, not a laboratory one. The professionals will consider your symptoms, age, family history, period frequency, and other factors unique to you and your body to get an in-depth understanding.


Why choose The Amara Clinic?

Consultant-led care

The clinic is led by Miss Anne Henderson, a highly experienced Consultant Gynaecologist and accredited British Menopause Society (MPS) specialist, one of only 200 specialists across the UK. She works with an experienced multi-disciplinary team to support women during the menopause and throughout their reproductive lives.

Seamless service

All your requirements including consultations, investigations diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and prescriptions can be accessed in-house through a seamless process which rarely requires external referrals. Most women will see the same practitioner throughout their treatment journey, receiving not only a high level of expertise but also continuity of care.

One-stop service

At The Amara Clinic our mission is to make it easy for all women to access the quality healthcare they need. We offer a wide range of services including face-to-face and virtual appointments depending on your needs and location. We can also provide an extensive range of investigations including blood tests and imaging, treatments and private prescriptions. Our medical team cover a comprehensive selection of health concerns including general gynaecology, perimenopause and menopause, cervical screening and Well Woman health checks.

Healthcare by women for women

We offer personalised treatment and sensitive support in a comfortable, private space. The Amara Clinic offers exceptional bespoke health and menopause care in a boutique clinic in the heart of Tunbridge Wells as well as virtual consultations for patients across the world.

Symptoms and signs of perimenopause

The symptoms of perimenopause are usually similar to those of menopause, but they can be more varied. You may also notice a change to your normal periods, they may become irregular or more frequent, or you may skip a monthly bleed altogether.

If you think you may be experiencing the perimenopause, there are some symptoms and signs to look out for:

  • Period changes: You may find your periods change during perimenopause. They may be irregular, more frequent or much heavier periods. Some women notice that their PMS gets worse.
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Hair thinning
  • Tingling or numb sensation in the lips, gums and tongue (burning mouth syndrome).

In short, during the perimenopause, you may not feel like yourself. The frustrating thing is that the symptoms may appear for a few months and then disappear. This stop-start pattern can be hard to deal with. Many women think:

‘Maybe I just imagined it? I feel like I’m losing my mind!’
‘ I just don’t feel like me anymore.’

With so much cultural negativity, lack of awareness and uncertainty surrounding the perimenopause and menopause journey, it's no wonder women are left confused. If this sounds familiar to you, the Amara Clinic can help.

Healthcare for women by women

At The Amara Clinic, we understand the needs of women throughout their lives. We have decades of experience in diagnosing the perimenopause and helping restore women’s hormonal health and quality of life. We offer personalised treatment and sensitive support to help you take control of your perimenopause and menopause journey.

The team will take time to listen to your symptoms, explore your concerns and answer your questions. We aim to empower you to make informed decisions about your treatment path.

Treatment options

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to perimenopause or menopause care. At The Amara Clinic, we will work with you to create a bespoke package of treatments, therapies and support.

Complete package of perimenopause care

Our complete package guides you through your whole menopause journey - from the initial consultation to your evolving treatment plan. This streamlined service is delivered by specialists, providing treatments tailored to your needs. We use a wide range of ‘gold-standard’ body-identical hormones to control your symptoms and optimise your wellbeing.

Our package includes dispensing private prescriptions, blood tests, cervical screening and ultrasound imaging. All services are available on-site and are delivered quickly and discreetly.

Complementary therapies for perimenopause

We offer a comprehensive range of complementary therapies for people who cannot take HRT or are looking for alternatives.

The Amara Clinic supports complementary therapies in addition to HRT: this follows the holistic approach to perimenopause and menopause care which is outlined in Miss Henderson’s book “Natural Menopause”, which was published with Dorling Kindersley to high acclaim.

The Amara Clinic Team works closely with local complementary healthcare specialists including herbalists, dieticians), personal trainers and fitness experts to boost health, strength and wellbeing.

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