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Menopause health centre

Menopause overview

In the UK, the average age for a woman reaching menopause is 52, according to the NHS. Menopause symptoms may include irregular periods or hot flushes. Other signs of menopause include night sweats, sleep difficulties, vaginal dryness and irritability. The decision to treat menopause-related symptoms depends on the severity of symptoms and a woman's personal attitudes about this stage of life. Many women go through menopause with little discomfort; however, treatments are available to help relieve menopause-related symptoms.

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Prolonged or heavy periods common during menopause

Many women have heavier and longer periods as they near the menopause, a study shows, providing reassurance for women who may be concerned by these changes.

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Understanding the menopause - the basics

What is the menopause?

Menopause simply means the end of menstruation. As a woman ages, there is a gradual decline in the function of her ovaries and the production of oestrogen. Around the time a woman turns 40, this process speeds up. This period of transition to the menopause is known as the perimenopause.

Women typically menstruate for the last time at about 52 years of age. A few stop menstruating as young as 40, and a very small percentage as late as 60. Women who smoke tend to go through the menopause a few years earlier than non-smokers. Most women notice some menstrual changes - such as a shortening of cycle length (periods occurring closer together), skipped menstrual periods, and occasional heavy periods - up to a few years before menstruation ceases.

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Menopause symptoms

From hot flushes to mood changes: learn how to manage and treat menopause symptoms.

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