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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Coping with the perimenopause

    Coping with the perimenopause

    Posted on September 19th, 2023

    Historically, the menopause has been a strictly taboo subject. So much so, that generations of women have gone through it without fully understanding what effects it can have on their physical and mental health. So ahead of World Menopause Day on 18th October, the team at YourGP are shining a light on the topic, focusing on the perimenopause. Because we believe that the more awareness we can raise about perimenopause, the less daunting it will be for those approaching it, and anyone struggling with symptoms will be more likely to get the help they need.

    What is the perimenopause?

    The perimenopause is the time leading up to the menopause when periods stop and a woman’s reproductive years come to an end. Everyone is different so symptoms of perimenopause can start months or even years before periods stop. However, it usually starts between the ages of 45 and 55.

    What are the most common symptoms of perimenopause?

    Symptoms can vary from person to person and they can also change over time. However, the most common symptoms include:

    • Periods becoming more irregular
    • Changes to mood, including mood swings, increased anxiety and low self-esteem
    • Problems with memory or concentration (often referred to as ‘brain fog’)
    • Hot flushes
    • Night sweats
    • Disrupted sleep
    • Reduced sex drive
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Headaches
    • Weight gain
    • Dry, itchy skin

    What are the best ways to manage symptoms of perimenopause?

    The key thing is to listen to your body and look after yourself. Exercise regularly, eat well, make time each day to fully relax, and prioritise getting a good night’s sleep.

    Wear looser clothes made of natural fibres if you’re struggling with hot flushes, keep your bedroom temperature cool and avoid things such as spicy food, caffeine and alcohol which can trigger night sweats.

    If you feel you are struggling to cope with any symptoms of perimenopause, it is important to speak to a GP as soon as possible. After a full assessment, they may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

    • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to top up the hormones which are naturally diminishing during perimenopause
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help with low self-esteem
    • Hormonal creams and pessaries to help with vaginal dryness and low sex drive
    • Medication for anxiety or depression if required

    Remember, it’s good to talk

    For some women, the perimenopause can have a huge effect on their life. If it is beginning to impact your relationships, reach out to friends and family for support. If it is impacting your work life, speak to your line manager – they should be able to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your needs. If you think it is impacting your physical and mental wellbeing, make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible and they will be able to provide information, practical advice and suitable treatments.

    Book your appointment at YourGP

    We make it as easy as possible for you to book an appointment with one of our GPs. We offer short notice appointments at both of our practices – in Edinburgh’s Dean Village and on Dundas Street in the heart of the capital.

    Choose a date and time that suits you via our simple online booking system, or you can email or call us on 0131 225 5656 and we will ensure that you are seen as quickly as possible.

    I just want to thank you for listening to me. When you are visiting the UK it can be worrying when you are unwell. You put me at ease and gave me the medical attention I needed.


    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 |

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.