Menopause

My period cycle has changed – is this the menopause?

A change in menstrual regularity is an inevitable symptom of the menopause. The build up to your final period is known as the peri-menopause and your period cycle length can become quite variable during this time. This is considered normal in women over the age of 45 years and does not require blood tests to ‘prove’ what’s going on.

If you are under 45 years, menopausal symptoms are considered ‘early’ – but it is not that uncommon. It would be worth considering seeing your GP to discuss your symptoms further to make sure there are no other reasons why your periods may have changed.

If you are under 40 years, this may represent premature ovarian insufficiency and I would definitely recommend you see your GP to discuss treatment.

A change in cycle regularity may be associated with other peri-menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, joint pains and sleep issues. If you have any other symptoms your GP can suggest things that can help – including HRT – you don’t have to wait for your periods to have finished.

One important note – if you develop other bleeding issues such as your periods becoming much heavier, spotting or bleeding in between your cycles, or any bleeding after sex, you definitely should speak to your GP as this may not be just due to the menopause.

Finally! You still need to use effective contraception during this time!

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