Menopause

For women, the menopause is a natural stage of life which is unavoidable. The hormonal changes of the menopause can be tumultuous and can affect every part of your body and mind from top to toe, resulting in physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms. At this challenging time, the menopause experts at The Amara Clinic can provide holistic menopause care, all necessary investigations and personalised HRT prescriptions in a comfortable, safe and supportive environment.

What is the menopause?

Put simply, the menopause is the time when your periods stop. During the menopause, your ovaries stop releasing eggs which results in a sharp decline in key hormones including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The hormonal changes don't just affect your fertility; they can also bring a wide range of symptoms including mood disturbance, hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, anxiety and insomnia, which can be life changing if not properly addressed.

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When does the menopause happen?

The age you experience the menopause can vary hugely. It typically happens between 45 and 55 years of age, 51.7 years to be precise. But we're all different. You may go through your menopause earlier, and as many as one in 100 women can have premature menopause before they reach 40 years and others will have an early menopause before 45 years of age.

The best clues about when and how you'll experience menopause lie in your genes. If you can, talk to your mum, sister, grandmother and other female relatives about how they experienced their menopause, and you will have a better idea of what to expect. Other factors may be important, including hormonal and surgical interventions and other gynaecological problems, all of which can impact on the timing of menopause.

Expert menopause diagnosis and care

Not everybody experiences the classic symptoms of menopause, like hot flushes and night sweats. Some menopausal women may feel mentally unbalanced with severe psychological symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, sleeplessness and severe fatigue. You may experience brain fog with reduced concentration, focus and short term memory, which can impact performance at work. There is also a phenomenon peculiar to menopause called ‘loss of nouns’ which may lead you to forget words causing embarrassment and frustration during daily conversations.

Unfortunately, women who predominantly suffer from psychological symptoms often have to wait longer for a diagnosis and may be misdiagnosed as having depression, anxiety or a neurological problem such as dementia.

If you're experiencing these problems, the medical experts at The Amara Clinic are here to provide help and support. The specialist team has in-depth knowledge and understanding of menopause; they look beyond individual symptoms to diagnose menopause and restore your hormonal health.

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 (BMS) 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.

Menopause signs and symptoms

Some women are lucky and sail through the menopause, but up to three-quarters of women experience troubling symptoms as a result of the hormonal changes, and a third of women suffer severe symptoms which affect their physical,emotional and cognitive health.

Menopause experts often refer to the ‘core four’ symptoms. These include:

  • Vasomotor symptoms including hot flushes and sweats
  • Sleep disruption
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Vaginal dryness

But as any menopausal woman will tell you, it’s rarely as simple as that. At the last count, there were at least34 menopause symptoms. Every woman we see at The Amara Clinic, will present with aunique combination of symptoms and signs which are individual to her.

Physical menopause symptoms

The menopause can affect your body from head to toe. Currently, the top three symptoms for menopause self-referral at the clinic are anxiety, sleep disruption and brain fog. Other symptoms include:

  • Vasomotor symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats: The hormonal changes of the menopause can alter the blood flow through your vessels, causing symptoms known as vasomotor symptoms. These include hot flushes and night sweats but can also come with heart palpitations, nausea, vertigo and dizziness. The symptoms can happen with alarming frequency- up to every ten minutes, 24/7.
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms: Joint and muscle pain, loss of muscle tone and mass together with muscle weakness are all linked with getting older, but for women these are accelerated by the menopause.
  • Migraines and headaches: Hormone imbalances experienced during the perimenopause and beyond can exacerbate headaches and trigger migraines for the first time.
  • Fatigue and chronic fatigue: The menopause can cause insomnia, and problems like anxiety and night sweats can make it even more challenging to get a good night's rest. Falling hormone levels can impact the quality of deep non-REM sleep, which means the brain doesn’t have the opportunity to repair, recover and rebuild. This can be very debilitating, resulting in chronic fatigue and exhaustion as well as brain fog.
  • Sexual problems: Lower oestrogen can result in vaginal dryness, which makes sex uncomfortable. The falling hormone levels, including testosterone, can also cause a drop in libido.
  • Bladder symptoms: You may notice increasing urinary urgency and frequency, as well as leakage when exercising or coughing. You may also notice an increase in urinary tract infections, especially in association with sex.
  • Changes to the skin, hair and nails: As collagen levels fall during perimenopause and menopause, your skin becomes thinner, less elastic, feels less hydrated, and starts to sag. Hair condition can start to deteriorate along with thinning, and nails become more brittle.

This continual rollercoaster of symptoms can create a vicious cycle. One symptom triggers another, and you end up with an overwhelming feeling of - at best, disconnection - at worst, the world unravelling around you.

Emotional menopause symptoms

Menopause is a time of change, and emotional fluctuations are part of that. The key psychological symptoms of menopause include:

Anxiety: Feelings of nervousness, tension and worry are common during menopause. These feelings of heightened general anxiety are described as global and tend not to be related to anything in particular but can be exhausting. Broken sleep patterns or lying awake at night can make the most minor worries feel like major crises.

Depression and mood swings: Experiencing low mood is a common symptom of menopause. This can be accompanied by feeling weepy about things that wouldn’t usually matter. You may also lose enjoyment in life in general, the medical term for this is anhedonia. To make matters worse, this sense of joylessness is frequently punctuated by periods of intense irritability, irrationality, and aggression. Women can describe this as being irrational ‘on an industrial scale’.

Whatever symptoms you experience, the specialists at The Amara Clinic can offer treatment, support and guidance. We’re here to help you take control of your whole menopause journey and find a treatment plan tailored specifically to you and your body’s needs.

Cognitive menopause symptoms

Brain fog: Due to declining hormone levels, primarily oestrogen, during perimenopause and beyond, the ability to concentrate, focus and multi-task is disrupted. This phenomenon is known as brain fog and is one of the commonest problems with which women present. Lack of quality sleep further impacts this condition and the cumulative effects can mean that many women can struggle to function in their personal and professional lives.

Whatever symptoms you experience, the specialists at The Amara Clinic can offer treatment, support and guidance. We’re here to help you take control of your whole menopause journey and find a treatment plan tailored specifically to you and your body’s needs.

Treatment for menopause symptoms

At the Amara Clinic, we take a holistic approach to menopause care. Our team of experts looks at your detailed history and the way your symptoms have evolved. We consider your symptoms today and contrast these with how you were feeling six to 12 months ago, or even longer in some cases, to better understand your menopause journey. This information helps inform the treatment, support and resources you need as you travel from perimenopause to post-menopause.

The professionals are trained to tailor treatment to individual needs using a wide range of ‘gold-standard’ body-identical hormones. We will offer advice not only on HRT but also on diet and lifestyle changes, supplements and complementary therapies to ensure your menopause journey remains healthy, positive and joyful.

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