A Women's Health Physio's guide to Menopause
Recently, Róisín O’Bentley, First Contact Practitioner, Senior Physiotherapist and Women’s Health Specialist, Lynn Rogers, Service Delivery Manager, and Joy Turnbull, our Yoga and Pilates Instructor, met up to talk about the Menopause, with the aim to understand what it is and what help is out there. Despite the menopause being a right of passage for all women, many are still embarrassed or ashamed to talk openly about their menopause journey. Whilst others may not be sure what the menopause is or what support is out there. By having an open discussion about the menopause, we hope to help women gain a better understanding of it and normalise it.
What is Menopause?
Whilst the term Menopause just describes the day that marks 1 year since your last period, the perimenopause refers to the time your body starts making the natural transition to the menopause during which oestrogen levels start to fluctuate.
What are the symptoms of Menopause?
As our body tries to adapt to these changes, we may develop a whole host of symptoms, including hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, itchy skin, lack of energy, pain or leaks to name but a few.
When do Women experience Menopause?
Women usually start to develop symptoms in their mid 40s but some women may develop them in their late 30s or in their early 50s. Every woman is different, some breeze through the perimenopause, whilst others really struggle. What is helpful for one woman may not be for another.
Can Physiotherapy help Menopause?
Although this is a natural phase in our lives, it’s not one that has to be endured! Physiotherapy and exercise such as Pilates can help with menopausal symptoms. Aches and pains that have developed, leaks when sneezing or standing up, stiffness or difficulty moving, these are all symptoms that can be addressed and helped with physiotherapy and exercise.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may also be helpful to help reduce or manage menopausal symptoms. Whilst HRT can be a helpful treatment, not all women want to take medication, if you are undecided or want more information, talk to your GP.
Time to destigmatise Menopause!
Sharing experiences and talking about your menopausal journey with friends, colleagues and family, can help your loved ones understand how it is impacting you and can support you. So many women think their symptoms are unique to them and are embarrassed to tell people. The truth is your female friends are probably having similar experiences and are equally as embarrassed. By talking about it, we destigmatise it, take ownership of it and get the help and support we need.
How we can help
Our Women’s Health Physiotherapy Clinic offers specialist pelvic health care with a specialist interest in menopause care by helping women understand the changes their bodies are going through, manage any pelvic pains and/or concerns, and maintain a strong, and healthy pelvic floor. Get in touch to book your first appointment!
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