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Talking about the menopause: symptoms, support and the role of exercise
Talking about the menopause: symptoms, support and the role of exercise

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3.1 The NICE Guidelines

In 2019 in the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ( NICE) updated their recommendations to be used by GPs and other health professionals for the diagnosis and treatment of menopause. These guidelines state that your GP should discuss your menopause with you, focusing on five main areas:

  1. The stages of the menopause.
  2. Diagnosis of menopause and the symptoms that can be expected.
  3. The use of treatments like HRT, non-hormonal medications (e.g. anti-depressants) and therapies like CBT.
  4. Lifestyle change to manage symptoms as well as to protect general health and wellbeing.
  5. The impact of the menopause on health into older age.

The intention of the NICE guidelines is to provide people with a clear route through their menopause, as well as changing the menopause landscape so that people no longer feel that it’s ‘just my hormones’ and they have to suffer in silence. But the guidelines have not only impacted on women. They have also changed the way menopause is viewed and addressed more widely, by women’s families and employers. This in turn is leading to some more open conversations about menopause, as well as a more practical and helpful approach to supporting women in staying well and able to function in all areas of their lives through their menopause, as well as putting into place lifestyle strategies that can ensure better health as they move forward in their lives.