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  • Writer's pictureClaire Willett

5 Types of Menopause

By Claire Willett, a qualified Menopause couch, 10 years + a Pilates teacher and Low back pain practitioner and founder of Menopause Couch© Ltd and Millstream Pilates.


Everyone’s experience of Menopause is unique. But what is finally becoming clearer to the public, as a result of courageous women speaking out, is that there are different types of menopause.


Whilst the result is the same – Oestradiol (a type of Oestrogen), Testosterone and Progesterone production shuts down, how it impacts us emotionally and from a symptom perspective is wildly different. Some of us celebrate reaching the milestone of no periods whilst others grieve this loss intensely due to its untimely cessation or in some cases lack of starting in the first instance.


The great news is, as the world of menopause opens up, there are many practitioners that can help women with the different types of menopause and the associated symptoms experienced.


My passion in helping women and families through peri to post menopause comes from my own experience of premature ovarian failure. Being finally diagnosed at 39, having had peri menopause symptoms since my mid to late 20’s has been life changing; and this all took place at a time where there was limited clinical help available and very little guidance on how to gain it. I have been through emergency laparoscopic surgery for ovarian torsion; followed up with a unilateral oophorectomy, combined with a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and adenomyosis.


I know what it’s like to have to start again from the ground up and finding the right people to help you can be a part of this trauma. My approach to helping you with your hormone journey is a culmination of my qualifications, years of personal and professional experience and the amazing specialists I’ve been lucky enough to meet along the way that helped me to get back on my bike in the right way!



So, here are 5 types of menopause:


1. Natural


Average age of 51 with perimenopause occurring up to 10 years prior. A natural decline of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone as ovarian follicles deplete.


2. Early Menopause 


Occurs between the ages of 40-45 and requires HRT until at least the natural age of menopause (unless oestrogen positive cancers are present)


3. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency 


1 in 100 women under the age of 40 and 1 in 1000 women by the age of 20 will experience POI. Sadly, some girls won’t start their periods. The cause is often unknown in 95% of cases. This type of menopause will have a profound impact on both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the individual. Fertility issues will also factor. Long term treatment both for emotional and physical wellbeing is essential.


4. Surgical Menopause 


Is caused by a total hysterectomy, including the removal of both ovaries. This will cease the production of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone with immediate effect. This sudden change in hormones can have a profound effect on symptoms experienced. The emotional outcome may be dependent on the individuals’ circumstances for the hysterectomy and the symptoms they now experience in immediate menopause. There are many holistic options for supporting this type of menopause and women are often left without this support post surgery.


5. Chemical Menopause 


Is created by using medication to place a woman into a menopause induced state. It is reversible. It’s used for cancer treatment, IVF and helping to manage conditions such as endometriosis and PMDD. Often the benefit of the treatment out ways the symptoms caused by being in an induced menopausal state. But this does not take away that systemic and emotional stress caused by this type of Menopause. There are many holistic opportunities for improving symptoms. I feel passionate that all types of menopause should be recognised and treatment individualised.

When I was finally diagnosed 7 years ago with POI, this just wasn’t the case. We are moving in the right direction and I’m delighted to be able to help others experiencing Menopausal issues, whatever you age or stage.


Find out more at @menopause_couch on Instagram




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