Blood Tests For Menopause

This service is only available to existing patients already under the care of one of our GPs at Menopause Health Matters.

We offer a calm and comfortable space in our clinic with our warm, friendly and highly skilled Phlebotomist, providing a professional service where you can have your blood taken should this be required.

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Your Questions Answered

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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.

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Menopause Employee Benefit

Menopausal women are, demographically, the fastest growing group of workers in the UK. We offer personalised care for your employees and our team highly skilled professionals dedicate the time to understand and treat their individual needs.

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LIMITATIONS OF SERVICE

Our services and advice are provided for non-urgent circumstances only and it is not possible to contact any of our clinicians outwith appointment times. Any client or prospective client whose needs require more urgent or multidisciplinary support should contact their GP in the first instance.

In case of any medical or mental health emergency including risk of suicide, please call 999 or attend your nearest Accident and Emergency department. The following services may also be contacted:

NHS 24 – 111
This service is available to give help and advice if your GP surgery is closed and you cannot wait until it re-opens.

Samaritans – 116 123; jo@samaritans.org
This service provides twenty-four hour emotional support to individuals who are suicidal or in crisis.