Every woman’s experience of menopause is different. And whether you suffer from hot flushes, mood swings or sleeplessness, this “change of life” does not have to mean the end of your way of life.

Menopause is the natural process of your periods becoming irregular and eventually stopping. This means your body has ceased preparing every month for pregnancy - your ovaries stop releasing eggs and your hormone production decreases.

How do you know if you are going through menopause? The symptoms for menopause are varied and vast. You could experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • irregular periods
  • loss of libido
  • vaginal dryness
  • mood swings.

Other changes during menopause may include fatigue, hair loss, sleep disorders, dizziness and weight gain. As bones can get thinner due to hormone changes, some woman are also at risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your community pharmacist about managing the possibility of weakening bones.

Many women do not seek treatment for menopause but those that do often experience severe symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common treatment and comes in the form of tablets, creams, patches and implants.

Menopause is generally manageable if you make a few adjustments to your lifestyle. Ask your community pharmacist for advice which may include:

  • sticking to a health diet
  • getting plenty of exercise
  • doing weigh-bearing exercise
  • avoiding stressful situations
  • getting enough sleep
  • stopping smoking
  • not drinking coffee, or exercising, before you go to sleep
  • sleeping in a well ventilated room
  • using lubricant during sex.

It is also critical that you get support from your family and friends during menopause. Their help will assist you during this change in life. Menopause can be managed with the help of health professionals, talk to your community pharmacist about the appropriate treatment options for you.