Answering Your Top Menopause Questions – 2018

In partnership with Kathy Abernethy MClinSci RN

If you have a menopause question, we are happy to help. Find the contact form on our Menopause page.

The menopause has become a hot topic, with celebrities sharing their experiences, openly discussing previously unspoken about symptoms. We are delighted to see 2018 kicking off with BBC radio 4 hosting a series of discussions on Women’s Hour covering all aspects of the menopause.

We too have experienced the impact of the menopause on our bodies and our quality of life and are keen to help women get the right advice to support their transition.

Together with leading menopause experts, we have started a new menopause advice section on Rejuvage to provide answers from experts to your questions.

We will share with you all the questions and answers from women who have allowed us to do so. See below our top questions we’ve received this week along with our expert, Kathy Abernethy’s answers.

1. Hot Flushes

Question: I am 49 and am experiencing hot flushes, it’s hard to know if I am menopausal as I’m on the Mirena coil and haven’t had a period in over 10 years. My main concern is my severe low mood and irrational mood swings that is affecting myself and the people around me, my doctor has recommended Citalopram which is an antidepressant, but I feel reluctant to go down this path, is there anything that you could recommend?

Answer: At 49 years and experiencing hot flushes? You are probably in perimenopause, even though the Mirena is masking periods. Low mood and mood swings are sometimes helped by HRT and NICE Guidance in the UK says anti-depressants should not be first line for this unless your doctor thinks you are also depressed or could not use HRT for some reason. Perhaps think about whether you are ready to give HRT a try for this? CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ) might help too – here is a link to a self help factsheet about it, which many women have found very helpful.

2. Depression

Question: I have had a serious time to the point the depression and anxiety were unbearable what can I do to recover as it is really has taken my quality of life.

Answer: I am sorry to hear this. Depression and anxiety may worsen due to hormonal influences and you really need the opportunity to discuss this with a kind doctor and explore whether you need treatment, either instead of or as well as HRT. HRT is not a treatment for depression, although it may improve mood; you may need to look at CBT, or after assessment, modern antidepressants. You may need to treat the depression/anxiety alongside other menopausal symptoms if you have any. Please do seek help from your GP.

3. Bleeding

Question: I am in such a state at the moment. I have the Mirena coil and I’m on HRT but still bleed. It did stop for over 2 years which was an amazing relief, but now it’s back heavier and worse than before. The flushes have calmed but the weakness to move some days is too much to bear. The doctor just doesn’t listen and I’m exhausted.

Answer: A Mirena coil is usually a good choice as it controls bleeding really well. If used with HRT it should be replaced after 4-5 years, depending on if you are bleeding or not. If you continue to experience prolonged bleeding with a Mirena that has been in fewer than four years, you need to have a full assessment, including a discussion as to whether you are still on the best HRT for you. Perhaps ask your doctor if you need to see a gynaecologist to review your options.

Find out more about Kathy Abernethy 

Kathy has extensive clinical expertise as a Menopause Specialist, regularly seeing and advising women on all issues relating to menopausal health. An Independent Prescriber with a Masters degree in Community Gynaecology and Reproductive Healthcare, Kathy is Chair of the  British Menopause Society, the professional society of healthcare practitioners. Director of ‘the menopause course’ an educational initiative for nurses where she designs and runs study days, courses and events relating to menopause.

For women, Kathy offers private consultations at a South West London clinic and workplace sessions to improve understanding of the effects of menopause at home and work.

She is the author of ‘Menopause: The One Stop Guide‘.

If you have a menopause question, we are happy to help. Find the contact form on our Menopause page.

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