Menopause is classed as one year after the cessation of periods. The period of time preceding this date is the peri-menopause. Post-menopause is after this date. The menopause is something every woman will go though. The average age is between 45 and 55. For some women it can occur earlier:
- Early menopause / premature menopause (periods stopping before the age of 45) 5% of the population
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (before the age of 40 ) This can occur due to chromosome abnormalities, auto-immune diseases, infections. Sometimes the cause is not known. 1% of the population.
- Cancer and cancer treatment such as hysterectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
During the peri-menopause and menopause there is a reduction in the levels of the hormone oestrogen. Reduction in oestrogen levels cause symptoms such as:
- Night sweats
- Hot flushes
- Mood changes (anxiety / depression)
- Brain fog / changes in concentration
- Muscle and joint aches and pains
- Vaginal dryness
Some silent symptoms of low oestrogen levels include weakening of the bones which can lead to osteoporosis. Low levels can also increase the risk of heart disease.
One treatment in managing these symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There are many options available and can be discussed with your GP. HRT may not be for everyone though.
How can Physiotherapy help?
What is a Menopause MOT?
During this one hour assessment we will discuss:
Your medical and health history:
- Past medical history
- Current medical concerns
- Review and blood tests / scan results which area relevant
- Review menopausal symptom
- Discuss any changes to your bladder and bowel health
- Any concerns with sexual function
- Assess your fracture risk and cardiovascular health risk
- Exercise regime
We will assess:
- Your movement and posture
- Pelvic floor examination
- Any other concerns which you would like assessed
Following your examination we will devise a management plan which may include:
- Exercise programme for cardiovascular and bone health
- Advice on nutrition
- Bladder and bowel health advice
- Pelvic floor function advice
- Other treatment approaches which may be of benefit such as acupuncture, scar therapy.