I am Dr. Louise Newson. I am a GP and Menopause Expert in West Midlands.
So, the menopause is actually a retrospective diagnosis, which means it’s a ‘look back in time’ diagnosis. For the menopause, you do not have a period for at least 12 months and that’s quite difficult because there are a lot of women who are going through the menopause or approaching the menopause who don’t have a period for 3 or 4 months and then have one, and then in another after 6 months.
So, we actually talk more about the perimenopause and ‘peri’ just means ‘around’ - so around the time of the menopause.
So, some people have perimenopausal symptoms some 5-6 years before their menopause. So when people read about menopausal symptoms it’s the same as perimenopausal symptoms and I think that’s very important because lots of people think they can’t be menopausal because they are still having their periods but sometimes periods can be the very last thing.
So, perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms are essentially the same.