Women's Health and Equality Queensland


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Menopause is when you have your final period because your ovaries no longer release eggs. Menopause is defined by 12 months without a period and can happen naturally, at the expected age (generally 45 to 55), or earlier. Your periods can also stop unexpectedly due to premature ovarian insufficiency, surgery, or cancer treatment. 

Perimenopause is the stage before menopause when your ovaries slow down and your hormones fluctuate and change. You could start experiencing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, headaches, night sweats and mood swings.

Every woman will have a different experience during menopause. Physical symptoms may include irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, sore breasts, itchy, crawly or dry skin, exhaustion and fatigue, dry vagina, loss of sex drive, headaches or migraines, more pronounced premenstrual syndrome, aches and pains, bloating, urinary problems, and weight gain due to a slower metabolism. Emotional symptoms may include feeling irritable or frustrated, feeling anxious, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, lowered mood, mood swings, and feeling you can’t cope as well as you used to.

Many women cope with mild menopausal symptoms and don’t need to take any medication or use therapies. Some women manage their symptoms through lifestyle choices, such as eating well and doing regular exercise. Other women with symptoms that affect their quality of life might choose to use medicines and therapies. It is important to remember that social, psychological and physical health support all play a role during menopause.

The work environment can be challenging during menopause. It can be beneficial to speak with your colleagues or supervisor to let them know how it is affecting your wellbeing.  Strategies that can be useful include having control over ambient temperature, access to cold water and toilets, planning and writing lists if you have brain fog, or having flexibility in your work hours if you aren’t sleeping well. 

For more support and resources:

You can find menopause and perimenopause support groups online, such as Facebook. Remember that some of the information shared might not be professional medical advice.

Find more resources on the Australasian Menopause Society website.

Health Direct lists different types of treatment options to help relieve symptoms including menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), herbal medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It is important to find what works for you and remember the symptoms don’t last forever.

Many women find that once they are through menopause they have a new lease on life and report things such as:

  • having more energy
  • feeling happier
  • enjoying not having periods or PMS
  • enjoying not having to worry about pregnancy or contraception
  • having better sex
  • embracing prioritising their own needs
  • more freedom and confidence
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