- COVID-19 Testing
- Private GP Services
- Consultant Services
- Health Checks
- Minor Surgery
The menopause will happen to all women, it’s inevitable. The average age the menopause occurs in women in the UK is 51, and it is when periods have stopped for a whole year.
Symptoms of the menopause usually begin around 45, this is known as the perimenopause, but some women do face early menopause from age 40-45. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) is categorised as anyone who goes through the menopause under the age of 40.
Summerfield Healthcare’s menopause team have a special interest in the management of all symptoms of the menopause. This includes lifestyle advice, as well as prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Our service is nationwide as consultations can be carried out with our menopause doctor online, through video call or over the phone.
The menopause is when women stop having periods for a year, and are therefore no longer able to get pregnant naturally. Periods can stop suddenly but usually they become less frequent over months or years before stopping altogether. Leading up to this time is the peri-menopause and your periods can become more or less frequent before stopping altogether.
Symptoms of the menopause can be psychological and/ or physical. Common psychological symptoms include:
Common physical symptoms include:
Other symptoms include skin, hair and weight changes as well as vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes and sweats, although only 20% of women tend to experience these symptoms.
Women will spend around 30% of their lives being post-menopausal. This can sometimes be thought of as a hormone-deficiency state.
Following the menopause women have less oestrogen. As oestrogen receptors are everywhere in the body all parts of the body are affected. Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are all produced by women, and women produce three times more testosterone than oestrogen.
After the menopause, women are at higher risk than men of cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes), osteoporosis, dementia and type 2 diabetes. Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in women, and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is less in women on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
The most frequently used form of treatment for women suffering menopause symptoms is HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). HRT is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in women which is a common medical problem after the menopause. Women who take HRT are less likely to suffer with spine and knee osteoarthritis.
Without treatment, many women find that the menopause may impact on home life, relationships and work, with many women being forced to reduce hours or give up work altogether due to symptoms. In addition, if the menopause is not identified as the underlying condition and treated accordingly, women can often end up visiting their GP with multiple problems and often referred for multiple symptoms.
Studies have found that HRT can help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and dementia. Despite what is sometimes reported in the media, HRT has been proven safe by numerous studies. It can be delivered through the skin in the form of a patch or gel, and can be taken orally, or also used vaginally.
HRT is not just for hot flushes and sweats, but all the symptoms of the menopause. Doses of hormone replacement therapy are variable and therefore can be tailored to each individual.
Even if you have been told you cannot take HRT in the past, our clinicians advise that it is worth having a consultation to discuss all the options available, as delivery routes of HRT have changed over the years, and not many conditions are excluded.
The newer types of hormones used in HRT are known as “body-identical” because they are the same as what your body produces, i.e. not synthetic. As they are replacing what isn’t being produced by the body anymore, this treatment is essentially topping up your hormones rather than giving extra. The newer body-identical hormones are derived from plants, namely the wild yam.
There is no time limit on how long you can take certain types HRT for, and this will be a joint discussion between you and your clinician about the benefits of staying on it (of which there are many) against the risks (of which there are few).
Risk factors associated with HRT are modifiable with lifestyle change. This can be discussed in further detail during your initial assessment.
Summerfield Healthcare aims to provide a patient centred service with joint decision making for perimenopause and menopause. Our menopause doctor does not just prescribe HRT, we provide evidence based advice and discussion about HRT and options available, guiding women through their menopause and helping to relieve symptoms.
Our service is nationwide and consultations are provided remotely by video or telephone, with blood testing carried out through our network of partner clinics.
At Summerfield Healthcare our clinicians place an emphasis on a well-rounded treatment offer, helping to improve the quality of life during this time for all women during the menopause and post menopause.
Dr Arnold, our lead clinician, is an experienced GP partner with an interest in women’s health. She has completed prescribing lifestyle medicine courses, and has gained qualifications in Confidence in Menopause course (2021), FSRH – Managing Women’s Hormone Health (2021), and is a member of the British Menopause Society. She has a clinical interest in the menopause and is passionate about helping women through this stage of life.
We feel that you need time to discuss your symptoms in order for our clinicians to provide individualised care. The initial consultation is 25 minutes, much longer than a standard NHS GP consultation of 10 minutes.
Following the initial consultation, Dr Arnold may prescribe medication to help ease your menopause symptoms, this may be through HRT. The most commonly used HRT is known as ‘body identical hormones’, which are licensed in the UK. There are alternative HRT options available which can be discussed during your consultation with our clinician, as well as non-HRT options.
Your follow up consultation is provided 3 months later which is a sufficient amount of time for you to feel the benefits of your treatment. This also allows for any potential side effects to settle.
You do not need a GP referral to book your menopause treatment with Summerfield Healthcare. Simply enquire online, call 0333 9000 010 or email [email protected] and we will arrange your initial consultation with Dr Arnold. Please note this service is for UK residents only.
Although Summerfield Healthcare is a private practice our fees are low cost and structured with you in mind. Initial consultation fees are listed below:
Initial menopause virtual consultation with a menopause doctor
Prescription if required, the cost of the medication will vary between Pharmacists
A follow-up consultation will be mandatory if medication is prescribed during the initial consultation
Additional investigations/ blood analysis may be advised as part of the consultation. Prices for blood collection will depend on location.
Dr Elizabeth Arnold is an experienced female GP, with a particular interest in providing menopause support and treatment for women during this time in their lives, and is a keen advocate of a holistic approach to incorporate good health and a positive lifestyle.