The menopause occurs when menstrual periods have stopped for at least one year. The term 'going through menopause' usually refers to the years leading up to the menopause. This stage is know as peri-menopause. During this time, the female sex hormones involved in producing an egg from the ovaries each month fluctuate and gradually decrease. The pattern of your periods may change from how they normally are. They may be irregular, sometimes more frequent and heavier but at other times lighter and less regular.

Typically physical and emotional symptoms experienced by many women at this time include:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of confidence
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist
  • Urinary and vaginal infections

People with diabetes can find the menopause especially challenging due to the effect it has on your bodys' insulin.

The female sex hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) can influence how effectively your body responds to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood glucose levels. As oestrogen levels fall, your body becomes less responsive to the effects of the insulin you produce (or inject). This is called insulin resistance. The fluctuations in hormone levels caused by the menopause can therefore make it difficult to control your blood glucose levels, sometimes swinging from high to low levels for no apparent reason.

For more information on Diabetes and the Menopause please click here.

Here are some useful resources relating to the menopause ranging from apps, websites and podcasts:

Dr Louise Newson is a GP and menopause specialist and holds an Advanced Menopause Specialist certificate with Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare and the British Menopause Society. She is passionate about improving education about the perimenopause and menopause and improving awareness of safe prescribing of HRT to healthcare professionals. She has her own programme and book which are linked below, along with her instagram and website.

Here is a list of some Instagram pages you may wish to take a look at:

  • Dr Naomi Potter
  • Dr Nighat Arif
  • Dr Rebecca Lewis
  • Davina Mccall
  • Diane Danzebrink