The menopause is when a woman stops having periods. Menopause means ‘the last menstrual period’. It’s not only those who identify as women who will experience menopause. Some transgender men, non-binary people and intersex people or people with variations in sex characteristics may also experience menopause.

Menopause is a natural event and transition that women experience, however, the timing and symptoms are different for everyone. You can look at your family history to get an idea of when you might go through it. It’s likely to be a similar age to when your mother or older sisters started theirs.

Menopause can also occur due to certain surgeries or cancer treatments. This can sometimes cause symptoms to be more sudden and in some cases more severe.

Perimenopause is the time from the start of menopausal symptoms until after a woman has experienced her last period. Periods will usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. They might be more irregular and become heavier or lighter. For some women, they can stop suddenly.

Postmenopause is the time after a woman experiences her last period. A woman is said to be postmenopausal when she has not had a period for 12 months.

Perimenopause and menopause are a natural part of a woman’s life course and usually occur between the ages 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels drop (although it can start earlier). In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51.   

Life doesn’t have to be put on hold because of menopause. There’s a lot that can be done to help manage symptoms, including making healthy lifestyle choices, trying different treatments and seeking support from healthcare professionals.                                           

(Taken from NHS Inform see link below)

The following resources provide further information, which you may find helpful to prepare for, or manage, the symptoms of menopause. We also recommend you read the resources before any menopause appointments.

Please note that the diagnosis of menopause is based on your symptoms and age. Blood testing is not helpful, but only considered in patients younger than 45 who are not on a contraceptive containing oestrogen or progesterone.

Edinburgh Menopause Clinic at Chalmers Centre – A Guide to HRT and the Menopause for Women in Lothian:

Women’s Health Concern (Patient arm of the British Menopause Society):

If you have booked an appointment with a clinician at the practice for a review of your menopause symptoms, you can complete the Menopause Symptoms Questionnaire ahead of time to inform the discussion. The questionnaire can be completed using the link below: