14 May update
Menopause is a significant life event for women. Every woman’s experience of menopause will be different. It can ultimately be positive. It is not all doom and gloom!
Many women will experience symptoms leading up to menopause, and a minority will suffer significant interference with their quality of life during this time.
If you are one of these women and feel that your quality of life is affected, do not hesitate to seek help and support. Many women see the menopause as a new beginning and we can help you to look after your health during this time.
What is the menopause?
Menopause is the phase in a woman’s life when she no longer menstruates and is no longer fertile.
During this time the ovaries gradually become less active, resulting in less frequent and missed periods, and they eventually stop functioning. This mean that a woman releases no more eggs and her periods will stop altogether.
The average age of menopause in Ireland is 51 years.
At what age does the perimenopause begin?
The years leading up to the menopause are called the perimenopause. Perimenopause can start at any time from a woman’s late 30s to late 50s.
What about contraception?
Women can still become pregnant during perimenopause. We advise women to continue to use contraception for two years after their last period, after which it is safe to assume that they are no longer fertile.
Symptoms can start long before a woman’s last period and their duration and severity vary considerably from woman to woman. Symptoms include:
- Hot and cold flushes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
- Memory or concentration difficulties
- Vaginal dryness or soreness
- Low sex drive
We can help
Our trained and experienced doctors can discuss simple improvements in lifestyle that can help manage symptoms. We also provide women with information on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
IFPA Menopause Health Check
Our doctors will assess any health risks related to menopause, discuss management of symptoms, and help you to develop a personal health plan for the menopause and beyond.
The consultation includes:
- Blood pressure
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Blood test (full blood count, kidney function, liver function, blood sugar, cholesterol and lipids, hormone levels and thyroid, if required)
- Breast check (if required or requested)
- Cervical screening (if due)
- Osteoporosis risk assessment and arrange DEXA (bone density) scan, if indicated
- Lifestyle assessment and recommendations; diet, exercise and cigarette use
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) assessment and prescription if required (depending on medical history)
Not every woman needs HRT nor is it necessarily suitable for every woman, but for some it will be very beneficial. HRT involves replacing the hormone oestrogen, as it is deficiency of this hormone which causes perimenopausal symptoms. It is available in different forms. Our doctors can help you decide which form, creams, gels, tablets, patches or implants, is best suited to you.
In order to get accurate result for blood sugar and cholesterol you need to fast for 12-14 hours before your appointment. Results will be delivered by post in approximately two weeks.
The cost of a menopause health check is €125. A non-refundable deposit of €50 is required to book a menopause health check.
A repeat consultation costs €60.
Please note that the menopause health check is not covered on the medical or GP card.
Information about how we’re providing care during the pandemic is available here.