What is menopause?

The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. Sometimes they can stop suddenly. The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51. However, around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities. Common symptoms include:

  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • difficulty sleeping
  • low mood or anxiety
  • reduced sex drive (libido)
  • problems with memory and concentration

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.


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The Western Medical Approach:

If the symptoms are so severe that they interfere with daily life, Western medicine will offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but it is also acknowledged that eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly – maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and strong can improve some menopausal symptoms.  CBT is frequently offered to help with low mood and anxiety.

Our Approach and Treatment of the Menopause:

The Five Element acupuncturist sees menopausal symptoms (like all symptoms) as a sign of the person trying to re-find balance. All living beings are governed by the natural laws we observe in nature and the menopausal symptoms experienced by the presenting patient will have a cause in one of the five elements that produce our outer and inner reality. Practitioners of this ancient healing tradition have the skills to diagnose the unique cause of a challenging menopause and effect an acupuncture treatment that has the potential to alleviate not only the troubling menopausal symptoms but all suffering.

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