Caring and Menopause

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some women will experience few, or no, symptoms. But for some, they can be quite severe and have a significant impact on everyday life. 

What are the first signs of menopause?

The first sign of menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods. You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods. 

The frequency of periods may also be affected. They may occur every two or three weeks, or they might not occur for months at a time. Eventually, periods will stop altogether, although for some women other menopause symptoms may continue. 

Some women can start experiencing symptoms such as migraines, irritability and low mood especially around the period time, without seeing irregularity in periods. 

There are many menopausal symptoms and symptoms can differ between individuals. Some of the most common symptoms include: 

  • ‘brain fog’ and memory issues 
  • difficulty sleeping 
  • fatigue 
  • hot flushes 
  • joint aches 
  • loss of sex drive (libido) 
  • low mood or anxiety 
  • migraine 
  • night sweats 
  • vaginal dryness or pain 

 

The NHS has a more detailed list of menopause symptoms. 

These symptoms can increase the stresses of caring, and so it is important to find time to focus on yourself where possible.  It can be difficult to look after our own health and wellbeing when we care for someone else, especially when we are experiencing shifts and changes ourselves.   

If you are feeling depressed and exhausted it could be you are experiencing menopause. More information can be found here 

What treatments are available for menopause?

The best person to speak with would be your GP or to attend a Menopause clinic. We can find our own local clinic through the British Menopause Society. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also tells us what support we can expect.  

Another useful resource is the Balance – menopause support App which provides guidance about what is right for our bodies during the perimenopause and menopause. You can download the app and get lots of support that way.  

If you are on Instagram you could follow https://www.instagram.com/menopausematters/ for lots of interesting tips and up to date facts.  

The Menopause Charity and International Menopause Society can also offer sources of help and support.    

See our section on Eating Well and Keeping Healthy which may help with some of your symptoms.