Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. It usually affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier.

It affects anyone who has periods.

Menopause can happen naturally, or for reasons such as surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy), cancer treatments like chemotherapy, or a genetic reason. Sometimes the reason is unknown.

Perimenopause is when you have symptoms of menopause but your periods have not stopped. Perimenopause ends and you reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.

Menopause and perimenopause can cause symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods. These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and carry on afterwards.

Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can have a big impact on your life, including relationships and work.

There are things you can do to help with symptoms. There are also medicines that can replace the missing hormones and help relieve your symptoms.


It can feel different for everyone. You may have a number of symptoms or none.

Things you can do

There are lots of different things you can do to help with the different symptoms, ranging from lifestyle to moisturisers/lubricants.


The main medicine treatment for menopause and perimenopause symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which replaces the hormones that are at low levels.

Resources and Support

The British Menopause Society

The BMS is an organisation aimed at the medical profession but has a series of informative factsheets to download on the menopause.

The Daisy Network

The Daisy Network Premature Menopause Support Group is a charity for women who have experienced a premature menopause.

NHS Choices Live Well

The NHS choices section on the menopause includes information on symptoms, HRT, early menopause, self-help tips, advice for partners, and food and the menopause

Women’s Health Concern

Women’s Health Concern (WHC) is part of the British Menopause Society aimed at patients. They provide an independent service to advise, reassure and educate women about their health concerns.

Menopause Matters

Here you will find information on what happens leading up to, during and after the menopause, what the consequences can be, what you can do to help and what treatments are available.

Menopause Cafe

At a Menopause Café people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss menopause. Menopause Cafés can be public or workplace-only events.

balance app

Looking for knowledge and guidance so you can be certain about what’s right for your body during the perimenopause and menopause? You’re in the right place.

Queer Menopause

Their mission is to support people in gaining the information and support they need.

Video Resources

Healthtalk has videos of women talking about living with menopause and perimenopause and what helped them. It covers many topics, including:

  • changes in periods
  • memory and concentration
  • sex drive
  • vaginal dryness
  • emotions and the menopause and perimenopause
  • HRT (hormone replacement therapy)

Men Don’t Need to Know about Menopause | NHS 24

Living with the menopause

Is HRT Bad For You? | NHS 24

Menopause Myths

Does the menopause just happen suddenly?

Page last reviewed: 3 July 2024