Menopause

Womens Health matters | changing the lives of women worldwide

Putting you at the centre of making decisiong for your menopause journey

Menopause

Menopause explained | Diagnostics | Treatments | 

Menopause

Menopause is a normal transition that all women experience as part of ageing process. The term ‘menopause’ can describe any of the changes a woman goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period.

The average age of the menopause is 51 years but some women can suffer menopausal symptoms for up to 10 years and 0.1% of women have symptoms in their 20s. While some women sail through the menopause other women are plagued with a variety of symptoms including: hot flushes, night sweats, pain with intercourse, mood swings and low mood

The female life expectancy in the UK is now approximately 83 years so women born today are likely to spend over a third of their lives being postmenopausal. Managing the menopause is becoming an increasing part of women’s health. With the NHS at crisis point and GP’s increasing overstretched, a 7-10 minute appointment is not enough to thoroughly discuss the many symptoms you may be experiencing due to the menopause, and how they impact on your day to day life and relationships. It takes a lot of time to go through your symptoms, how your feeling, understand why it’s happening and then explore all available treatment options.

%

of women are thought to suffer from menopause-related symptoms

While some women sail through the symptoms, as many as 80% of women are thought to suffer from menopause-related symptoms. Some of them include:

Hot flushes | Night sweats | Joint pain / stiffness | Dry skin / hair | Pain with intercourse ( Dyspareunia) | Sleep disturbance | Tiredness | Mood swings | Irritability | Panic attacks | Anxiety | Low mood | Poor concentration / brain fog | Vaginal dryness | Vaginal atrophy | Vaginal laxity | Itchy skin | Weight gain | Low libido | Urinary incontinence | Recurrent Urine infections ( UTI) | Irregular periods

I had a call with Katy. I had a wonderful consultation and made to feel like I was completely normal and not losing my mind. It was amazing to have somebody understand exactly how I was feeling and to be told that there is something that can be done that will make me feel like my old self again is like a miracle. I feel so much better today from just talking to someone who is qualified in this subject and understands, has sympathy and more importantly is able to help. Katy was marvelous and I can’t thank you enough.

Happy Patient

Terminology

Although it’s only 1 nine-letter word, menopause, is a huge topic. It’s already hard enough for a woman trying to understand and manage her various symptoms, so we’ve made it a little easier by breaking down some important terminology for you:

Perimenopause
Perimenopause refers to the time where your body is moving towards the end of your reproductive years and makes the natural transition to menopause.

During this transition, the hormone oestrogen begins to gradually decrease. Irregular periods begin to occur. Some women experience vasomotor and genitourinary symptoms. The perimenopause starts at different ages, and it can last between 1-7 years. 

Menopause

Menopause is when menstruation stops and is usually diagnosed clinically after 12 months of amenorrhoea (absence of periods)

The average age of natural menopause in the UK is 51.

Postmenopause

Postmenopause describes the years of a woman’s life after the menopause has occured. 

Primary ovarian insufficiency

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Hormone replacement therapy

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Early and induced menopause

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Our Service

At The Women’s Health Clinic, we firmly believe in putting you, our patient, at the heart of any decision-making. Our practitioners will closely work with you and discuss your symptoms, medical history and treatment plan. It all begins with a free telephone consultation for 20 minutes with one of our specialist nurse advisors. They will talk you through what we do, our processes and how we work. Before you make any commitment, we want you to know what we can offer so you can decide if we are the best fit for you.

Free telephone consultation

We provide a no obligation free telephone consultation where our nurse will discuss our service with you an answer any question.

Book an Appointment

You will be booked in with our specialist nurse or doctor. You will also be sent questionnaires before your appointment so you can tell us a little more about you

Initial Consultation

During your appointment, you will have an in-depth consultation on symptoms and symptom management. They will explore some treatment options for you to make a well-informed decision.

Treatment

If you proceed with treatment with consent, a prescription is written and sent to an independent pharmacy that we work closely. Tlhey will be in touch regarding payment and delivery.

Follow up

A follow up appointment will be booked to make sure you are getting on with your prescription. Any adjustments can be made.

Our Unique Approach

Here at The Women’s Health Clinic we believe every woman deserves the time to not only talk about her symptoms and understand why it’s happening but also take the time to explore all available treatment options. During a FREE telephone consultation with one of our nurse advisors, you can find out more about what we do and if you think we are the right people to help you.

We understand that, as women, we are not all the same. Your treatment journey relies on listening to your symptoms and for some, a blood test that will pinpoint your exact hormone imbalance. We can then help you choose the most effective treatment plan that will benefit you and write you a prescription for this if necessary.

Hormone replacement therapy

HRT is described as, a hormone therapy that restores, at least partially, the levels of naturally occurring hormones that become imbalanced during the menopause. There are numerous types, formulations and routes of HRT, each of which confer different efficacy and side effect profiles.

HRT can provide relief from many of the symptoms suffered. Here at The Women’s Health Clinic our practitioners with a special interest in menopause can discuss treatment approaches. It is always important you and you practitioner to discuss the risks and benefits of treatments before you make an informed decision. There is a lot of conflicting evidence around the safety of HRT. However, for most women the risks of either therapy are far less than you imagine.

HRT Types

The two main treatment types are combined HRT, composed of estrogen and progesterone, and estrogen-only HRT. Combined HRT is prescribed to women who require endometrial protection. This is because unopposed estrogen can cause endometrial cells to divide rapidly, increasing the risk of endometrial cancer. Estrogen-only HRT is recommended to women who have a Mirena coil or have had a hysterectomy, in which case progesterone is not required.

HRT Delivery

There are different types of delivery methods (this is how the medication is taken): oral, transdermal, gel, spray. Vaginal estrogen is a locally active HRT that is applied topically, and its primary purpose is to treat vulvovaginal symptoms. It comes in the form of creams, rings, tablets or capsules. Systemic absorption is low, and so progesterone is usually not required for endometrial protection.

Listen to us on BBC Radio Leeds!

Our specialist nurse, Katy Draper, spoke to BBC Radio Leeds on World Menopause Day to talk lots on menopause, HRT and how we can help! Have a listen!

Our Prices

We have doctor-led and nurse-led services. You can find our prices below. More information can be provided upon request and during your initial enquiry.

Doctor-Led Service

Initial Consultation - £250

This includes a 50 minute video consultation with your doctor who will provide a holistic approach upon assessment. A prescription may also be written.

Follow up Consultation - £125

This includes a 25 minute phone consultation with your doctor who will check in to see how you are doing. This is typically booked at 3 months.

Blood test - £130

Our doctor reqiures a blood test to be done before seeing them. Our menopause profile includes: FSH, Progesterone, Testosterone, Oestradiol, DHEA, Vitamin D and Free Testosterone.

Nurse-Led Service

For our nurse-led service, we offer packages: Bronze and Silver. You can find out the difference below. Should you not want to purchase a package, you can find our prices for consultations below:

What are mini services?

The beauty of our service is that we recognise that all women are different. These mini services are for 10 minutes each and can be tailored to YOU and YOUR menopause journey. They can be used to have a quick chat with your assigned nurse, request a repeat prescription or get a referral letter to your GP.

Please note that any follow ups that may be further needed will not be covered by the above packages and will be at an extra cost.

Additional Services

 

Repeat Prescriptions- £25

A small chat with your practitioner to make sure everything is going well. Repeat prescriptions can be written and sent to pharmacy.

The real story

51-year old Karen came to The Women’s Health Clinic when life began to get harder. It started with the odd hot night in bed but now Karen was permanently rosy cheeked. A lower tog duvet and fresh sheets couldn’t stop the sweat from drenching her back, Karen’s hormones were out of control.
Flushing her way through her appointment, Karen informed our nurse that HRT just wasn’t an option for her due to a family medical history and anyway, she would prefer a more natural treatment.

After her blood test came back the nurse began to talk through the various options enabling Karen to make her own choices now she was fully informed on how her body would react. Leaving with a prescription in her hand, Karen got back in touch with the clinic just weeks later to say that she was now feeling like her old self.

She says, “It got to the stage where I wouldn’t leave the house without deodorant and a spare top in case another hot flush decided to come on. They were so unpredictable that I often felt housebound, turning down invitations to meet with friends because of the ‘what if?’ Understanding that this could go on for another 5-years just wasn’t an option for me so I was so relieved when I found I could have a consultation at my local clinic. I finally feel like my old self again.”

FAQs

How do I book an appointment?

You can book your free telephone with our nurse advisor here. She will tell you lots about our service and if you decide to book in, you will be given an appointment slot most convinient for you. 

What is covered during the 20 mins free appointment?

1. Explain our approaches to menopause 
2. Outline the process 
3. Inform that you do have a choice to take time to think about your option and only book if you feel this is the right treatment for you.
4. Inform you that we do not guarantee any result as it varies from patient to patient based on their individual circumstances.
5. Discuss any other issues the Nurse deem fit based on your consultation.
6. Ask questions of a very personal and private matter. It is therefore advisable that you do bear that in mind when booking the slot.
7. Take a non refundable deposit of £25 if you wish to book an appointment for the treatment. This payment will be deducted from your treatment cost. 

Do you do virtual appointments?

Yes! As part of our ethos of helping women make time for their health and well-being and get the support they need, we are taking a handful of our services online. This means that even if you have your hands full with the kids or work, you can still make time for you and your health.

Will I need more than one appointment?

You will start with an initial consultation and if you are prescribed treatment, we like to see you again to see how you are doing. 

Can you prescribe testosterone?

Yes, after a discussion with your practitioner, they can prescribe testosterone. 

Do I need a blood test?
This is dependent on your journey. Your assignmed practitioner may request a blood test. More information will follow. 
What qualifications do your practitioners have?

All our practitioners are GMC and NMC registered. They have specialisms and interests in the menopause.

What can be done?

Everyone needs a balanced endocrine system. Hormones regulate every function within the body and so when our hormones are well balanced we feel well, energetic and healthy. Hormonal imbalance can cause problems such as PMT (pre-menstrual tension) menopausal symptoms, blood sugar fluctuations, fatigue, lethargy, loss of motivation, constant tiredness, mood swings and depression.

Both bio-identical HRT can provide relief from many of the symptoms suffered. Here at The Silvery Blue our nurses with a special interest in menopause can discuss both treatment approaches so that you can explore and then choose the most suitable therapy for yourself. There is a lot of conflicting evidence around the safety of both treatments. However, for most women the risks of either therapy are far less than you imagine.

Lifestyle factors

A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Here are some tips to give your body the easiest ride:

Chew over your diet
The fall inhormone levels (namely, oestrogen) that accompanies the menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. A healthy diet is essential at this stage: keep it low in saturated fat and salt to reduce blood pressure, and rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones. Some women take dietary supplements to help get the balance right.
Keep on your feet.
Some women experience increased anxiety during the menopause. Regular exercise helps to convert stress into positive energy, while guarding against heart disease. A regular, varied programme is best: try cycling, swimming, running or aerobics.
Stop smoking.
Smoking has been shown to lead to an earlier menopause and trigger hot flushes. If you smoke you also run a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which is the most common form of death in women.
Drink Within Reason.
The combination of excessive alcohol and hormonal instability is a risky one! Alcohol increases flushes and is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Try not to drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol per day, and keep at least one day a week alcohol-free.
Make Use Of Health Screening Services
Studies have shown that a late menopause leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. The NHS offers screening, but you should also keep a check on any changes in your breasts, and seek advice if they occur.
Stay calm and positive.
Hormone imbalance during the menopause can result in added stress and even depression. Relaxation techniques and counselling can be very helpful in coping with anxiety.

Source: British Menopause Society

Ready to make a difference to your life?

Our nurses are only a phone call away. We are here to listen and support!

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