Dr Sarah Ball is a GP and menopause specialist

Making a diagnosis.

The most important thing to bear in mind when it comes to diagnosing the menopause or perimenopause is that it is termed a “clinical diagnosis” which means that tests are rarely required.

This means that you or your health care professional, or ideally both of you together, should be able to make the diagnosis by talking through your symptoms. There can be lots of possible symptoms, some of which are more talked about than others, and it is extremely useful if you have made a list of any you think are affecting you.

Using the Menopause Symptom Questionnaire is recommended and if you are still having periods try to keep a diary of these as the timing of your symptoms can give important clues.

Before an appointment with your healthcare professional it is really beneficial if you have spent a little time yourself considering what you think is the problem, what concerns you the most and what you are hoping to achieve from your consultation.

As you head towards menopause, the levels of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone produced by your ovaries begin to fluctuate and fall. There’s nothing you can do to alter the age at which you reach menopause as this is mostly influenced by genetics, unless of course you’ve had a surgical menopause following a hysterectomy,…

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