It's been pretty devastating - as I always wanted a family and we haven't been able to do so. I am currently not really feeling like I have to do anything medical in order to deal with my symptoms at the moment. I could definitely do with more support with regards to a family.

Age when symptoms started: 35

I believe strongly I am going through perimenopause but have not had this confirmed by a doctor. My main route for support is my female friends of my age, who all seem to be experiencing similar symptoms and the lightbulb moment clicked for us. I feel there is therefore a support network there, and also I have found a strong support network on Twitter. I do believe more education is needed on menopause and perimenopause too as it is hardly talked about. I have found the sheer multitude of symptoms overwhelming; some days I feel fine, some days I feel absolutely terrible. I am tracking my symptoms now on my period cycle app and have found this very helpful but I am still not 100% sure if everything is related to my menopause or if there is something really wrong going on with me. Some days you feel like it is completely overwhelming.

Age when symptoms started: 42

It made stop working full time as I have had insomnia and fatigue. I got very heavy bleeding as my periods actually became more frequent and longer before reducing in number and then stopping so I developed anemia. Joint pain is still awful and I feel like I'm 83 not 53 when I wake up. My family have had to deal with terrible mood swings and anger. I just felt like a shadow of myself. UK NHS GPs have very little training in menopause and often just prescribe anti depressants/vitamin D and lack awareness of how debilitating menopause can be. More mainstream help from Family Doctors is needed.

Age when symptoms started: 38

There are good books out there. I don't think doctors really understand it.

Age when symptoms started: 45

The prolonged bleeding was awful, didn't want to go out. Was really heavy at times and just felt so tired. First time Dr tried to make me have the coil but I didn't want it and there was no discussion with about this. I thought I had been referred to a gynaecologist to talk about options but when I got to the hospital they were scrubbed up and waiting to give me the coil. Luckily I had found this natural product (nickname DIM) other name much longer which had stopped the bleeding within 3 days of taking. Pill and someone else I was prescribed did not help at all. I can talk to friends about it. I've always hated my menstrual cycle, when I was younger I wanted to have a hysterectomy but never vocalised it. I've never had children and don't regret that, but now I'm going through early stages of menopause I'm worried about the hormonal changes. I don't think that there is enough research in women's health and we all suffer because of this. Also it's harder for women of colour which is myself.

Age when symptoms started: 44

Yes. It has impacted my life but not greatly because I have only had some mild symptoms but I have been extremely active, I have also tried to eat more healthy, be more occupied with time alone. I get up earlier than everyone in my household and follow a morning ritual. This includes; exercise, meditation, prayer, planning my day. The aspects that I can do with more support are as; 1. Information about it 2. More conversation with my mother about her experiences 3. Online groups / support for people my age - early 40s 4. Books about menopause and how to deal with it 5. Raising more awareness of it 6. Medications available for menopause and herbal / natural remedies.

Age when symptoms started: 40

I think for me I'm early and it's things I can control, and sadly the way I see it things I can hide! I think it's raising awareness of what menopause actually is and in the same way as you almost have a framework for care when you're pregnant and health visitors etc for newborns there should be some sort of dedicated resource to support women with this.

Age when symptoms started: 38

I began experiencing a feeling of suddenly being baking hot in the night - it would keep me awake and disturb my sleep. I'd throw my covers off. Then it would go away. This would happen on and off and then some months I'd be fine. So I didn't bother doing anything about it - plus I was too busy with work and kids to see the doctor. I thought I was too young to be experiencing menopause so it didn't occur to me - I thought it might be something to do with the Mirena coil I'd had fitted (this means I don't have periods anymore so I had no idea whether they'd become sporadic or were stopping). Then I began experiencing the feeling at work too - it would sweep all over my body and I'd have to run cold water on my wrists to cool myself down. Still I didn't do anything about it as these experiences were sporadic. I thought it was stress. I was also experiencing mood swings but I was always rushing about so I put this down to my hectic life. Over the next few years the hot feelings would come and go - but when I left my job and began working from home more I didn't seem to get them as much. A few years later, aged 47, I started to get hot flushes regularly - almost every night. My mood was all over the place - I'd get upset easily and lost my temper with the kids and my husband constantly. I wasn't sleeping well which compounded the situation. I was at a real low point and felt I couldn't go on like this. I'd become a different person and I couldn't see the positives in anything. Plus I had very little energy. So I finally made an appointment with the doctor and even doing that helped me feel I was doing something positive. My GP was great and gave me so much information about HRT options - I know from friends' stories this is not always the case. I thought I'd end up with patches or pills but she prescribed a gel that you rub on your arms daily. Within weeks of using this I felt so much better - my sleep had improved, I had more energy and patience and felt more like myself again. I thought I'd experience lots of side effects but it's been fine. I think you need to find a treatment that works for you as everyone is different.

Age when symptoms started: 45

Well, where to start. It began with heavy painful periods and insomnia, jumping as I was going off to sleep which was annoying. I realised that caffeine was no longer on the menu fairly early on. The next few years I experienced increasing joint and muscle pain, fatigue like walking through mud yet lying awake until 3 or 4 in the morning. I felt very alone. As a nurse, I had talked to many women going through menopause in my practice days yet I did not twig that many of the symptoms I was experiencing were related to 'the change'. And crikey has it been a change! I feel different but in some ways I feel liberated from the drudge and inconvenience of heavy periods. My joints are painful and a few new medical diagnoses have arrived which partly account for the pain but menopause certainly aggravated it all. My skin has been sensitive, flushed, tender and itchy. My hair is now at the point where I could audition for a part as the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz! My husband even started calling me Worzel which was such a confidence booster (not). I have learnt that I need to adapt to the changes, roll with them and embrace some of them. I have jumped into exercise and given up the endless diets I have been on since my teens into my fifties. I don't worry if I spend a little money on hair treatments or lovely skin creams to make me feel better. It doesn't have to be expensive but my, I can't get away with not taking care any more. I have to take care not to stumble or drop things now. I have had to learn to be more deliberate and measured. I am fitter in some ways than I have ever been and have learnt that I can push myself (carefully) in fact I need to use this old body. I enjoy walking, started ballroom dancing again and swim at least 100 lengths a weeks which helps with my strength, my confidence. I feel I have set the bar for the next few years. I have learnt to like myself a bit more and am looking forward to enjoying the years ahead. Next year I might even do a river swim...because I am not letting menopause stop me.

Age when symptoms started: 53

At 41 years old I had the menopause, I literally was so bad with my period that it had been decided that the best course of action was a hysterectomy. Because my menstrual cycle was so erratic, I was told to inform the hospital of my next period and they would book me in for the operation but I never had another period. I have suffered with many of the complaints that accompanies the menopause but from a much earlier age for such things such as arthritis, memory loss and muscle pain in back. Now I am dealing with nerve damage in my feet, hands and back. I have found the early menopause very tough and I feel a little robbed of some of my years as I definitely feel old before my time… I am now 59.

Age when symptoms started: 40

Symptoms:

Other

Age when symptoms started: 57

I was a healthy happy person, never had medication at all then at 55 years of age was suddenly thrown into a host of menopause symptoms. After suffering dizzy spells I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, now under control with medication but literally goes through the roof when I go for checks; I have developed white coat syndrome!! Anxiety set in which can make me feel breathless, I suffer also with health anxiety, I hate going for routine medical checkups tests etc as I'm so worried about being diagnosed with any condition. I have been on anxiety medication which I weaned myself off as I didn’t like taking the medication. I have palpitations now and then which the Dr says is anxiety but I never had these before either. I take a beta blocker when I get an attack of them which can be a few times a week. The biggest culprit for me is the hot flashes/sweats that occur mainly at night several times, waking me up. I also have breakouts of hot flashes if I'm feeling stressed or just near heat and hot days. I'm 60 now and still struggling with post menopausal stuff.

Age when symptoms started: 55

I remember going to my doctor asking if I was going through the menopause just after I had turned 40 years of age, to be basically told nope, don’t be daft and sent away. My mum had went through the menopause young. My periods had always been like clockwork, they had then started to appear at any time lasting 14 days, stopping for about 10 then starting again. I was tired, lethargic, moody, irritable. Terrible brain fog, nothing interested me. It was just horrible. The flushes, they didn’t come really bad until the last 2 years they are just horrible, I feel like I’m just burning from the inside out. One minute I’m warm, the heat goes right up to my head Im like wanting to strip off to then being soaked in sweat, hair dripping, then my hair starts to expand and frizz out, my clothes become damp. I never feel fresh. I’m always spraying perfume as I feel as if I must smell. My joints hurt, my knees and ankles swell. But the bit that has really made my mood low is I have always had beautiful hair, could do anything to it, it was always thick and healthy and now I just want to cry, it’s thin, I lose hair every time I wash it or brush it. I sometimes just contemplate shaving it off and starting again. I know my mum had a hard time going through the menopause she passed away aged 56 and I now know why she lost her confidence, her zest for life. I try to push myself every day to move forward but trying to find a menopause clinic near where I live is so hard. I tried Venlaflaxine as it was advised I don’t take HRT but that just made my brain fog harder and didn’t even touch the sweats. I just think it is never ending. I met my cousin the other week and I had a flush, she’s the same age as me. I’m pulling out my fan to cool me down and when she said 'Oh I’ve been so lucky not had a thing‘ I actually thought I was going to growl and snarl at her, my husband was looking at my face as he knew I was about to just cry. I don’t understand how some have no symptoms, some hardly anything and I get about 20 to 30 flushes a day. I must be the only person that saves money in winter as I always have my windows open. At night my bedroom window is wide open. We fill in forms at work just now, are you feeling well is the first question and it’s regarding COVID. I always put not Covid, my being unwell is menopause related. Because it is being unwell. Hopefully I don’t have much longer to go through it and I can then say 'yeah I made it through the menopause'.

Age when symptoms started: 40

I feel anxious and I am worried that I will slightly struggle, especially with hot flashes. I have libido and I feel like being menoapusal will make me unattractive to the opposite sex. I do feel there is a stigma attached thats just not talked about.

Age when symptoms started: 42

I'm not sure it impacted my life too much.

Symptoms:

Other

Age when symptoms started: 47

My experience so far has impacted my life at work and at home. I've had such a confidence knock and feel constantly in a state of mind chaos - lack of clarity, inability to focus, self doubt. At home I am often short tempered, unable to be me. I've seen the GP over the last 2 years and started a trial of HRT patch last month. Already I feel clearer, however have had a very weird dry mouth! Trying to remove the information on the risks leaflet from inside the HRT box from my memory but it keeps pinging back in!

Age when symptoms started: 40

Taking extra supplements

Symptoms:

Low period

Age when symptoms started: 46

I think they have had a negative impact on family life. I can be quite irritable and this has a negative effect on my daughters who pick up on my mood and also my husband which has resulted in me also not wanting to be intimate as much. The way I deal with this is by talking about how I am feeling and apologising to them. In the workplace if I am feeling like I just put on a brave face and get on the workload. I feel I need support with dealing with my mood swings, irritability and just knowing what changes to expect potentially.

Age when symptoms started: 35

Yeah it has impacted my life, I feel annoyed a lot of the time, more irritable, not as much patience etc and this prolapse is awful. I am currently taking hrt patches, had no support from the doctor. Prescribed by the doctor but I haven't had support. I've just asked for the patches. I would like to speak to a dr but that isn't possible at my surgery. I would maybe like to just to talk to someone about it just to listen and advise me on a one to one basis.

Age when symptoms started: 43

I'm struggling with work mostly. My friends and family are very supportive but work are useless and I fear it's only going to get worse. I get by day by day but dread being asked to do something and not understanding or my brain fog kicking in.

Age when symptoms started: 43

I am less likely to go out as my scalp will sweat a lot. I had gained weight became pre diabetes but reversed it with nhs help. Wish there were menopause help work shop so I could talk to people with same symptoms. My skin would srawl I thought it was some thing else. but after watching davina macall programme I learned so much.

Age when symptoms started: 42

Sometimes I get tired and again not sure what causes that - I found taking iron supplements a great help. I ordered vaginal moisturiser and that helps with vaginal dryness. Being open with my partner has helped explain symptoms as well. Again I am never sure what causes my symptoms (peri menopause or endometriosis so some sort of test would be wonderfully helpful if it existed!!?

Age when symptoms started: 40

Brain fog has been my biggest problem. It affects all aspects of my life. I’m hoping that starting HRT will alleviate some of that and I hope to start it soon. Loss of libido has been really difficult too and again, I hope HRT will help.

Age when symptoms started: 47

Feeling increasingly unwell, joint pains and chronic fatigue. I struggle every day and have to repeatedly explain my health to everyone at my work place. A colleague even suggested that I take time off work when I feel competent with reasonable adjustments like working at home more than onsite. Anything to do with work feels like an uphill struggle where I need to show proof to be believed. My family are understanding about this change because they see how debilitating the symptoms can be to the quality of my life.

Age when symptoms started: 46

So initially it affected my sleep and sex life. It took me over 2 years to persuade the doctor to give me HRT and then another few months to get the right one for me. Availability of some HRT products seems an issue. When I have started these sleep and sex has improved although not perfect. I wish that there was a better service for discussing issues and not having to wait months appointments.

Age when symptoms started: 44

I woke one morning and my whole self had changed emotionally and physically. Weight gain and anxiety became my best friends, not being able to find the words to describe or finish a sentence from feeling low, overwhelmed and useless. Sleep deprivation without a reason and the inability to remain focused or motivated. I often feel out of control and live day to day with fear an emotion has taken over my once confident, funny, strong self. I did go to my GP who printed off what would have been the equivalent to a tree of information about the menopause then ended with buckle up this rides a B**CH. Today I struggle on through having every possible side affect and symptom without medical intervention. My mental health has taken a pounding, I remain hopeful that life will get better.

Age when symptoms started: 48

I suspected changes going on with me at 36/37, felt very low about myself at age of 38/39 and started having flushing to face but thought it was anxiety taking over. In a different day, I went to doctors but was advised I’m probably too young for menopause so was prescribed beta blockers for anxiety. I was in a long term marriage with 2 children and so life was busy with kids at school etc, a few month later symptoms got worse, I stupidly got myself into another relationship as I thought mentally life was getting away from me and this man paid me attention and listened to me. This all ended with me leaving and having a breakdown and after seeing a new doctor was placed on anxiety and antidepressants. I had blood tests and they confirmed I was going through menopause, I was 39. No hrt was given as blood tests showed liver function wasn’t up to scratch, since then after bloods improving I’ve been on clonidine, patches and I’m now on patches and a tablet I take at night (hrt). I’m not the same person I was, have been through a lot, lost a lot of people but I now know I wasn’t crazy and something was happening to my body. Still trying to find myself again and if it weren’t for hot flushes which are extreme I’d cope better, also the mental side of things is hard, I’ve proved to myself I’m strong though.

Age when symptoms started: 38

Raising awareness, access to support and the gouvernement making HRT free.

Age when symptoms started: 45

I lost my sexual desire which had a massive impact on my marriage. My husband chose to go elsewhere for the sex he was not getting with me. Subsequently we are now separated. I worry now that I will be alone forever as I have no desire to be with anyone.

Age when symptoms started: 43

Thought I had got away with the menopause as I had a a hysterectomy at 45! But after a very stressful few years! Relationship ended! Sold my family home! Moved! I suddenly started suffering with the worst insomnia! Fatigue! Joint pain! Brain fog! Eating disorder! Never ever believed it was the menopause! But had endless tests and it’s the only thing it can be! Started HRT! Reduced hours at work! Talking lots! Enjoy a full and happy life! Laugh lots and enjoy a full and loving relationship !

Age when symptoms started: 55

Currently I have extremely dry and itchy vagina. I contacted the doctor when it initially started but he didnt help and he didnt listen therefore I found a cream to help, it slightly took the itching away. I still use the cream when it's really bad. It is quite unbearable at times and I regularly wake up from this symptom. I am extremely anxious and feel this is never ending. It is effecting my mental health. I can easily scratch the itch for hours and get frustrated. I have recently contacted the doctors and am waiting for an appointment from the gynacologist.

Symptoms:

Other

Age when symptoms started: 42

It would be good if early menopause ran in the family that regular blood tests should be given 6mthly or yearly to help a woman recognise that she's going through rather than having to wait til we have symptoms. Prevention/help is always better than a cure. It would be good to be prepared. Other than having tablets thrown down our necks are their any natural remedies that could help. Having workshops could possibly help, not sure on what would happen in these.

Age when symptoms started: 43

It was hard to tell what was age or menopause related or stress related. I didn't join up the dots but suddenly I noticed that I was missing periods so hot flushes at night (irregular) and being forgetful of names after a lifetime of priding myself of being good with names/faces made sense. I was not expecting forgetfulness and only knew about perimenopause as my sister looked into it.

Age when symptoms started: 50

My Menopause Story – Sarah, 50

Going through menopause is a normal part of ageing, but people don’t often talk about the effect it can have on your mental health. Sarah, 50, explains how menopause has forced her to accept her body as it is now, and surrender to the waves of grief that come with it.

Read on Healthily

The brain fog, fatigue and general inability to focus led me to to resign from my job and take six months off work. So I had no income during this time other than my savings. I no longer have penetrative sex as it's painful, howver I have no libido so it's somethinng of a none issue. The lack of support I encountered was quite shameful, my GP's only response was to dish out inappropriate tranquilisers.

Age when symptoms started: 45