A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Managing Menopause

The London General Practice is delighted to welcome General Practitioner Dr Elise Dallas (BSC, MBCHB, MRCGP, DRCOG). With a profound interest in women's health and specialised training in menopause care by the British Menopause Society, Dr. Dallas is dedicated to enhancing women's health, particularly during midlife, and optimising well-being while preventing chronic diseases.

Understanding Menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age of onset being around 51.

Perimenopause, often referred to as the "menopausal transition," is the stage that precedes menopause. It can start several years before menopause and is characterised by hormonal fluctuations and irregular menstrual cycles.

Managing Menopause Symptoms

Women may experience various symptoms during perimenopause, as well as during menopause itself and can vary from woman to woman. Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, irregular periods, and sleep disturbances, all of which can significantly impact a woman's physical and emotional well-being.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

One widely used treatment option for managing menopause symptoms is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT involves the supplementation of declining hormone levels in the body, specifically oestrogen, progesterone, and in some cases testosterone. HRT can effectively alleviate symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. It is important to consider individual considerations and medical history, as HRT is not suitable for everyone. However, in most cases, if started before the age of 60, the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks.

Lifestyle Modifications

Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting overall health during this transitional phase. A well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide essential nutrients and promote hormonal balance. Avoiding excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods may also help alleviate hot flushes and other symptoms.

Regular exercise is beneficial for managing menopause symptoms. Engaging in activities such as walking, swimming, yoga, or strength training can improve mood, reduce stress, promote better sleep, and help maintain a healthy weight.

Quality sleep is vital for overall well-being and can have a positive impact on menopause symptoms. Establishing a comfortable sleep environment, practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime, and following a consistent sleep routine can promote better sleep quality.

Emotional well-being

Emotional well-being is equally important during menopause. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, mindfulness, or seeking support through counselling or support groups can help manage mood swings, anxiety, and depression that may arise during this time.

Prioritising Heart and Bone Health

Oestrogen plays a protective role in maintaining cardiovascular health and bone density, making HRT an essential consideration. Adopting heart-healthy habits, such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and avoiding smoking, can contribute to overall well-being. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, weight-bearing exercises are recommended to support bone health.


Menopause is a natural transition experienced by all women, and though it may present challenges, it is a manageable phase of life. While HRT can effectively manage symptoms, and improve heart and bone health, lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional well-being also play key roles. At The London General Practice, we specialise in personalised assessment and care plans tailored to your needs, ensuring optimal bone and heart health and improving comfort, well-being, and quality of life during menopause.

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