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How to survive the perimenopause; EDITED BY SALLY MCLEAN.

Byline: SALLY MCLEAN

IS HRT SAFE TO TAKE? IN THE last few years, research showed many scare stories on the dangers of HRT were unfounded or at least exaggerated.

As a result, in 2015 the health body NICE declared that HRT was largely safe and vastly under-prescribed by doctors.

They said HRT was still the best treatment for both menopause and perimenopausal symptoms. NICE also estimated that up to one million women in the UK who could be benefiting from it were unnecessarily enduring hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings.

Dr Newson said: "The older type of HRT was linked to an increased risk of stroke but the newer gels and patches today don't pose this same risk."

There is still a slightly increased breast cancer risk - but it's lower than the risk from drinking two glasses of wine a night.

Eight out of 10 women suffer hormonal symptoms for up to 10 years before their menopause, according to new research. CAROL JONES finds out how to cope if you're one of them..

GOING through the change has traditionally been viewed as something that happens to women in their 50s.

But new research has found that much larger numbers of younger women than previously thought experience debilitating symptoms for several years preceding the menopause.

These "perimenopausal" symptoms can include the same hot flushes, night sweats and depression associated with the menopause.

But because these women are still having their periods and are not yet officially classed as menopausal, they're not getting the help they need.

The new study by the Centre for Midlife Science at Michigan University in the US found that for one in four women in their 40s and 50s, these early symptoms were severe - but often ignored by doctors.

This is despite the fact that treating women this early can reduce their risk of later developing serious conditions, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

perimenopause or premature menopause. ? The menopause officially occurs when levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone have declined so much that your ovaries no longer produce eggs and your periods stop. This usually takes place between 45 and 55 but it can occur much earlier for some women - this is known as a premature menopause.

A menopause is classed as premature if periods have stopped completely before the age of 40 - a change that affects as many as one in six women, according to recent research by Imperial College London.

"But what many women don't realise is that it's common for declining oestrogen levels to mean the telltale symptoms of irregular periods, hot flushes, low mood and diminished libido start as early as five to 10 years before your periods stop - this is the so-called perimenopause," explained Dr Louise Newson, GP and menopause expert at Parkway Hospital, Solihull.

AM I PERIMENOPAUSAL? EVEN if you're still having periods, don't be afraid to ask your GP for help if you're experiencing symptoms such as hot flushes.

Your doctor may want to run a blood test to measure the level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

If this is raised, then it's likely you're peri or even menopausal.

Your doctor may recommend a bone density test (DEXA scan) to determine the strength of your bones as a drop in oestrogen can put you at risk from osteoporosis.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Medical condition overview
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 29, 2017
Words:551
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