Helping you with change and putting your mind at ease.

We are committed to raising awareness of the effects of perimenopause and menopause on women’s health and the impact that this can have on quality of life.

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Below are some of the questions we get asked most frequently. If there is any further information you require then please contact us directly.

Peri Menopause & Menopause

The early symptoms of menopause, known as perimenopause, can vary among individuals. Common early signs include irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, decreased fertility, vaginal dryness, and changes in libido. These symptoms are caused by fluctuating hormone levels, particularly oestrogen and progesterone, as the ovaries gradually produce less of these hormones. While some women may experience these symptoms in their 30’s or 40s, others may not notice them until their late 40s or early 50s.

Menopause brings a range of symptoms caused by hormonal changes. Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, dizziness, decreased libido, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, joint and muscle aches, urinary issues and many more. Menopause can also lead to long-term effects such as an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. It’s important to note that not all women will experience every symptom, and the severity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly.

Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being around 51. However, the age at which menopause starts can vary widely among women. Some may experience menopause in their early 40s or even earlier, which is referred to as early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. Certain factors can influence the timing of menopause, including genetics, smoking, certain medical treatments like chemotherapy, and certain underlying health conditions. If experiencing symptoms suggestive of menopause or concerns about the timing, consulting with a healthcare menopause specialist can provide further guidance and clarification.

The duration of menopause varies for each woman. Menopause itself refers to the point when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. However, the transition into menopause, known as perimenopause, can last several years. On average, perimenopause can start in a woman’s 40s, although it can begin earlier or later. The entire menopause transition, from perimenopause to post-menopause, typically lasts around five years, but it can range from a few months to more than a decade.

Menopause can have a significant impact on sleep patterns. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decrease in oestrogen, can disrupt sleep by causing night sweats, hot flushes and frequent trips to the bathroom ! These episodes of sudden heat or urinary urgency can wake women from sleep, leading to difficulties falling asleep or returning to sleep. Hormonal changes can also contribute to insomnia, which can result in difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. Sleep disturbances during menopause can lead to daytime fatigue, mood changes, and decreased overall well-being. Managing menopause related sleep issues may involve lifestyle changes, such as keeping a cool bedroom, practicing relaxation techniques before bed, and discussing potential treatment options with a healthcare provider.

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. During menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less oestrogen and progesterone, leading to the cessation of menstrual cycles. Hormonal changes can cause various physical and emotional symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and changes in sexual desire. Menopause also brings long-term effects, including an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease due to the decline in oestrogen levels. However, menopause is a natural stage of life, and with proper management, treatment and support, women can navigate this transition and maintain a good quality of life.

Menopause can contribute to feelings of anxiety in many women. Hormonal changes during menopause, particularly the decline in oestrogen levels, can affect neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood and emotions. Fluctuating hormone levels may lead to increased anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Other factors associated with menopause, such as sleep disturbances, hot flushes, and physical discomfort, can also contribute to feelings of anxiety. However, it’s important to note that not all women experience anxiety during menopause, and individual experiences may vary. If anxiety symptoms become severe or significantly impact daily life, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider for evaluation and appropriate management.

Menopause can be a contributing factor to the development or exacerbation of depression in some women. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause, including fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels, can influence brain chemistry and potentially contribute to mood disturbances. Additionally, menopause is often accompanied by other challenges such as sleep disturbances, hot flushes, and physical discomfort, which can impact emotional well-being. However, it’s important to note that not all women experience depression during menopause, and individual experiences may vary. If experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or other depressive symptoms, it is recommended to seek evaluation and support from a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. At Menopause Health Matters you can have an in depth consultation with our clinical psychologist who can tailor a treatment plan specific to your individual needs and preferences.

Menopause can contribute to weight gain, but it is not solely responsible for it. Hormonal changes during menopause can alter body composition, leading to a shift in fat distribution. Some women may experience an increase in abdominal fat, which is associated with a higher risk of certain health conditions. Additionally, age-related factors such as a decrease in muscle mass and a slower metabolism can make weight management more challenging during this time. However, weight gain during menopause is not inevitable and can be managed through a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and portion control.

Blood tests can help determine a woman’s menopausal status, but they are not the sole diagnostic tool. Menopause is typically diagnosed based on a woman’s symptoms and the absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months. However, blood tests can provide additional information to support the diagnosis. One common blood test is measuring the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH levels tend to rise as ovarian function declines during menopause. Elevated FSH levels, along with other clinical factors, can indicate menopause. However, it’s important to note that hormone levels can vary, and a single blood test may not provide a definitive diagnosis. Healthcare providers consider a combination of symptoms, medical history, and test results when diagnosing menopause. At Menopause Health Matters we have our own phlebotomist who can organise any blood tests requested by our menopause specialist GPs.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Our GPs can provide private prescriptions for any recommended HRT treatment. We work closely with a partner online pharmacy who have a good stock of HRT medication which can be delivered directly to your door normally within 24 hours.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves supplementing the body with oestrogen and sometimes progesterone and testosterone, has been associated with weight changes in some women however other studies show no significant difference in weight compared to women not using HRT. Many women report that they actually lose weight when they begin HRT treatment and find their hormones are more balanced. It’s important to note that individual responses to HRT can vary, and factors such as age, dosage, duration of use, and lifestyle habits may influence weight changes.

Body identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) refers to hormone medications that contain hormones that are structurally identical to the hormones naturally produced by the human body. Body identical HRT is derived from the yam plant and includes oestrogen which is delivered through the skin in the form of gels, patches and sprays and micronized progesterone sold as Utrogestan in the UK. The term “body identical” is used to emphasize that the hormones used in these treatments are chemically indistinguishable from the hormones naturally produced by the body and are the type of HRT recommended by menopause specialists.

Transdermal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves delivering hormones into the body through the skin via patches, gels, creams or sprays. In transdermal HRT, hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone are absorbed directly through the skin and into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. Transdermal HRT offers an alternative to oral hormone medications and allows for more consistent hormone levels throughout the day. Many women at increased risk of stroke can safely take transdermal HRT because the oestrogen goes directly through the skin and into the bloodstream bypassing the liver.

The Mirena Coil, also known as the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), is primarily used as a form of contraception. However, it can also be utilized as a component of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women who have a uterus.

When used in HRT, the Mirena Coil releases a small amount of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel directly into the uterus. This localized hormone delivery can help protect the uterine lining from the potential overgrowth associated with oestrogen-alone therapy.

By combining systemic oestrogen therapy (transdermal, or patch oestrogen) with the Mirena Coil, women can achieve the benefits of oestrogen on other menopausal symptoms while minimizing the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (abnormal thickening of the uterine lining).

It’s important to note that the use of the Mirena Coil as part of HRT should be discussed with a healthcare provider, as individual circumstances and medical history can influence its suitability and appropriateness as a treatment option.

At Menopause Health Matters we have our very own purpose built medical suite where Mirena Coils can be fitted by our experienced doctors.

The terms “body identical” and “bio-identical” are often used interchangeably, but they have very different meanings. Body identical HRT refers to hormone medications that contain hormones that are molecularly identical to the hormones naturally produced by the body. These hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, are synthesized in a lab but have the same chemical structure as endogenous hormones.

On the other hand, the term “bio-identical” is sometimes used more broadly to refer to compounded hormone preparations that are custom-made by a compounding pharmacy based on an individual’s specific hormone needs. These compounded bio-identical hormones are tailored to each person and can include a combination of hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. At the moment bio-identical HRT is not regulated in the UK and is not approved by the NHS or menopausal societies.

Several pharmaceutical companies produce body identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products. Some well-known brands of body identical HRT include Evorel and Estradot transdermal oestradiol patches, Oestrogel, Sandrena Gel , Lenzetto Spray and Utrogestan for oral micronized progesterone. It’s important to consult with a healthcare menopause specialist to determine the most appropriate HRT brand and form of administration based on individual needs, medical history, and preferences.

The duration of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can vary for each individual. It depends on factors such as the purpose of HRT, individual health considerations, and individualized treatment plans. It is recommended to regularly reassess the need for continued treatment with a healthcare provider. For women using HRT for specific medical conditions, the duration may be longer, and the treatment plan should be discussed and monitored closely with a healthcare provider.

We can use hormonal blood tests a few months after starting HRT to determine if the dose and type of HRT is suitable for you. Sometimes you may need your dose adjusting from time to time to achieve symptom relief or you may find changing your type of HRT eg, from patches to gel, may help you to absorb better. Finding the right type and dose of HRT can take time and everyone’s body is different. Adding testosterone to your HRT regime can also help to alleviate many symptoms and again a blood test can help to determine when to consider this and what dose is right for you.


Low testosterone levels in females can manifest in various symptoms, including reduced libido, decreased sexual satisfaction, fatigue, decreased energy levels, depressed mood, irritability, difficulty concentrating, brain fog and decreased muscle strength. Other potential signs of low testosterone may include hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, and reduced bone density. However, it’s important to note that these symptoms can have various causes, and a healthcare provider should evaluate and diagnose low testosterone through appropriate testing.

Testosterone plays an essential role in women’s health. It contributes to overall wellbeing by influencing mood, energy levels, and sexual function. Testosterone also helps maintain bone density and muscle mass, promotes the growth and strength of hair, and supports cognitive function. In women, testosterone is produced primarily in the ovaries and adrenal glands. While testosterone levels are much lower in women compared to men, an imbalance or deficiency in testosterone can lead to symptoms such as reduced libido, fatigue, brain fog, mood changes, decreased muscle strength and joint pain.

Yes, testosterone can be prescribed to women. Testosterone therapy in women is typically used to address specific medical conditions, such as certain types of hormonal deficiencies or disorders. The decision to prescribe testosterone to women is based on a thorough evaluation of individual health, symptoms, and hormone levels. Testosterone therapy should be supervised and managed by a healthcare provider or menopause specialist experienced in hormone therapy to ensure safe and effective treatment. At Menopause Health Matters we prescribe Androfeme which is testosterone in the form of a cream and has been specifically formulated for women.

Androfeme is currently unlicensed in the UK but can be prescribed at specialist private menopause clinics such as Menopause Health Matters as it has proven benefits in numerous clinical trials. It has been specially formulated and scientifically proven to be safe and effective for women.

Alternative Remedies for Menopause

For women who prefer not to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have contraindications, several alternatives can help manage menopause symptoms. Lifestyle modifications can be beneficial, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and managing stress. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and other forms of psychotherapy can assist in coping with mood changes and emotional well-being. Non-hormonal medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may help with hot flushes and mood symptoms. Certain herbal remedies, such as black cohosh and red clover, are also popular alternatives. Additionally, non-hormonal vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can alleviate vaginal dryness. It’s crucial to discuss these alternatives with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable options based on individual symptoms and medical history.

Herbal remedies are often sought as alternative or complementary options for managing menopause symptoms. While scientific evidence for their effectiveness is limited, some herbal remedies have been traditionally used and may provide relief for certain women. Black cohosh is a commonly used herb that may help alleviate hot flushes and mood swings. Red clover is another herb that has been used for its potential estrogenic effects. Other herbal remedies include dong quai, evening primrose oil, and sage. It’s important to note that herbal remedies can have potential side effects and may interact with medications, so it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before using them. Individual responses to herbal remedies can vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. Integrating these remedies should be done under proper guidance and supervision. At Menopause Health Matters our highly experienced herbalist can prescribe herbal medicines specifically tailored to your individual needs following a detailed consultation.

A healthy diet plays an important role in managing menopause symptoms and supporting overall well-being. Here are some key recommendations for foods to include in your diet during menopause:

Calcium-rich foods
Calcium helps maintain bone health, which is particularly important during menopause. Include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fortified plant-based milk, and calcium-rich foods like tofu or sardines.

Foods rich in phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that can mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. Good sources include soy products (like tofu and edamame), flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and legumes.

Healthy fats
Focus on incorporating healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (such as salmon) into your diet. These fats support brain health and help reduce inflammation.

Fibre-rich foods
Opt for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes to ensure an adequate intake of fibre. Fibre aids digestion, promotes fullness, and helps manage weight.

Foods rich in vitamins and minerals
Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to obtain essential vitamins and minerals. Emphasize dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, and colourful vegetables.

Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and incorporating hydrating foods like soups, smoothies, and herbal teas.
Remember, everyone’s nutritional needs are unique, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific health profile and dietary preferences. At Menopause Health Matters we have a highly experienced nutrition and lifestyle coach who can devise a bespoke programme specific to your individual needs.

Reiki is a complementary therapy that involves the practitioner placing their hands lightly on or near the recipient’s body to facilitate healing and promote a sense of balance and relaxation. Many women find Reiki beneficial for managing stress, promoting relaxation, and enhancing overall well-being.

Menopause symptoms are primarily driven by hormonal changes in the body, and Reiki does not directly influence hormone levels. However, the relaxation and stress reduction benefits of Reiki may indirectly help alleviate symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, which can be aggravated by stress. At Menopause Health Matters we have our own Reiki Master Therapist who is highly experienced in helping to alleviate symptoms in menopausal women.

Clinic and Appointments.

You do not need a referral from your GP to attend the Clinic. A detailed health history will be taken prior to your initial consultation.

Menopause consultations are currently not covered by private insurance companies.

Please bring details of any medication or supplements that you are presently taking. If you have had any blood tests done by your GP, please bring copies of the results. This may avoid unnecessary repetition and cost.

You are welcome to bring an adult relative, friend or supporter to your consultation or procedure should you wish. If you prefer your companion to wait outside, we have a private and comfortable waiting area with refreshments. To respect the privacy and comfort of our other clients we politely request that that you bring no more than one person to accompany or wait with you at any time.

Following each consultation, you will be emailed a written summary of your assessment and management plan. This can also be emailed to your GP at your request and provided you supply us with your GP surgery email address. Alternatively, we can print off a copy for you to drop in to your GP surgery.

The Mirena coil can be fitted by one of our doctors in our discreet and comfortable specialist Medical Suite.

We provide blood drawing with our experienced phlebotomist at the Clinic.

Barns Crescent car park (KA7 2AY) is within a 2 minute walk of the clinic.