Every woman experiences the menopause differently. Some lucky individuals will breeze through it, but for many it is a rather drawn-out process that can bring with it various physical and psychological challenges.
Although there is no specific test for the menopause, it is a common reason for women over 45 seeking medical advice. Healthcare professionals will need to take a thorough patient history to work out the best way forward, including menstrual history and a detailed analysis of symptoms. It may also be necessary to carry out a thyroid function test, as well as a check of the patient’s hormone levels.
Discuss solutions with your patients
Sadly, there’s no magic pill when it comes to the menopause, but there are several health and lifestyle changes patients can make to help alleviate symptoms.
The first is to encourage your patient to eat a healthy, balanced diet. The risk of osteoporosis and heart disease increases in peri and post-menopausal women, making a healthy diet more important than ever. High fibre and low-fatfoods are key here, alongside those which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and calcium. Patients may also require additional vitamin supplements, and it is also worth reminding them to cut down caffeine and alcohol where possible. This is because they have been known to make hot flushes worse.
If the patient is experiencing any vaginal dryness or irritation, then a water-based vaginal lubricant such as KY jelly or a vaginal moisturiser like Vagisil may help. It is important however to avoid using any products that contain glycerin, as it may cause burning and discomfort in women who are sensitive to that chemical.
On top of a healthy diet, peri-menopausal women should also be encouraged to stay active. Discuss with them the fact that regular exercise brings many benefits, including weight control, improved circulation, and positive mental health. It can also mean better sleep, which is something that is so important at this time.
Finally, patients may benefit from stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga exercises. Whilst offering fantastic benefits at any age,they may be especially important during the menopausal transition.
Are you a healthcare professional looking to understand more about peri-menopausal topics?
Why not brush up your skills with our half-day CPD course Caring for women around the menopause. Aimed specifically at nurses and other allied healthcare professionals, this programme is an introductory course that enables healthcare providers to support peri-menopausal patients both physically and emotionally.
Offered online making it ideal for remote learning, the course is worth 4 hours of CPD and a certificate will be issued on completion.
Don’t forget our related online healthcare courses too, both of which are one full day and worth 7 and 8 hours of CPD respectively:
As always, all PDUK’s outstanding courses are extremely popular, particularly as they allow for flexible, interactive learning online. They are also led by highly experienced professionals in the field, so spaces fill up extremely quickly. It is always worth booking up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.