Gynaecologist & Obstetrician

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Pregnancy Planning & Fertility

Antenatal Care

Post-Natal Care (Mothers and Babies)

Hormones & Pelvic Pain

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Executive Checks

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Plant-based Medicine

Lifestyle Medicine

Menopause Treatment

Vasectomies

What is Menopause all about?

Menopause can be a challenging time both physically and emotionally for many women.

Menopause is defined as the last period, the average age for this in Australia is 51 years old, however, this is variable. Many women will be in perimenopause for several years leading up to this time. During perimenopause, hormone levels are fluctuating which can cause multiple, complex symptoms for many years.  This can be a time of significant distress for some women. Other women won’t find this transition problematic at all.

Common symptoms of perimenopause/menopause include hot flushes, insomnia, mood changes, concentration problems, vaginal dryness and changes in libido.  There may also be problems with periods, such as heavy or frequent bleeding. These symptoms may affect the way a woman interacts with her friends and family, and how she functions at work.

 

Menopause & Bone Health

Women will often start to worry about their bone health around the time of perimenopause.

Our peak bone mass is reached at approximately 25 years old. It then gradually declines as we age. This decline becomes marked after menopause and can lead to osteoporosis. This is because oestrogen levels drop after menopause, oestrogen is an important element of keeping the bones strong.

Osteoporosis, or low bone density, means that the bones are weak and can fracture easily. These fractures can then have a devastating impact on quality of life, independence and even life expectancy.

Osteoporosis doesn’t cause symptoms, until a fracture occurs, so women will often be unaware that this process is occurring.

However, screening tests can diagnose osteoporosis, or a less severe form called osteopaenia. With your GP, you can then work on a diet and exercise plan to help reduce your bone risk. For some women, medication may also be prescribed. This can include menopausal hormone therapy (also called HRT) or bone specific treatments. New Australian guidelines recommend that MHT can be used to preserve bone health in many women. This is especially important for women who went through menopause under the age of 45.

What help can we provide?

In the past, women felt they had to just deal with these symptoms and accept a change in their quality of life. However, we now have multiple effective treatment options available,  both hormonal and non hormonal. At Femina, we are excited by the growing community awareness around menopause.

It takes time to fully explore a patient’s menopause experience and tailor the appropriate treatment options. For this reason, the menopause appointments are long appointments. Starting treatment for menopausal symptoms is a two stage process. Your first appointment will involve a thorough history and examination, any necessary tests will be organised and discussion of possible treatment options. We encourage patients to take some time to consider what treatment is best suited to them. At the follow-up appointment, results are reviewed and treatment can be prescribed if appropriate.

A menopause appointment is also an opportunity to address preventative health. As women age, the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and dementia increase. Keeping up to date with screening tests is vital. There are also important lifestyle measures that women in midlife should be putting in to place.

Menopause appointments are offered by our GPs with a special interest in this area – Dr Georgie Olesniscky, Dr Fiona Napier-Flood and Dr Lara Monaghan.  Dr Olesniscky and Dr Monaghan are members of the Australian menopause society which provides education for both patients and doctors in the latest menopause research. Dr Napier Flood has training in integrative management of menopause.

Book a Menopause Treatment Appointment