What is the menopause?

The menopause refers to the transition from the fertile to the infertile phase in a woman’s life. This is not an abrupt process, but takes several years. A woman is menopausal when she has no longer menstruated for a year. The peri-menopause usually starts between the ages of 47 and 52. This is the transition to the final menopause.

What complaints can occur?

Changes in hormone levels during the transitional years can lead to the following complaints:

  • Hot flushes (vapours)
  • Night-time perspiration
  • Dry vagina and vaginal irritation
  • Urinary complaints
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability and mood changes

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What can you contact the gynaecologist for?

The gynaecologist mainly tries to support you during this difficult period and provide information about this new physical experience.

The risk of breast and gynaecological cancers also increases at this time of life. You can consult your gynaecologist for information and monitoring.

Once you are in the menopause, the risk of osteoporosis increases as oestrogen plays a role in the metabolism of bones. Your gynaecologist may request a bone densitometry test to detect these changes, in order to measure the strength of the bones and the risk of fractures. This examination takes about 20 minutes and is painless. It takes place in the Medical Imaging service.

The gynaecologist may also prescribe you calcium supplements and vitamin D, with or without medication to reduce the risk of broken bones.

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What can you contact the menopause consultant for?

In addition to the consultation with your gynaecologist, you can also arrange to see a menopause consultant at UZ Brussel. A consultation lasts about an hour and takes place on Thursdays.

Here you will receive advice on the transition, answers to your questions about the menopause and tips to make this a pleasant period. The menopause consultant may also refer you to other care providers for specific complaints.

Two consultations about five six weeks apart are usually sufficient. Sometimes a third consultation is appropriate.

Making an appointment with the menopause consultant

  • When: on Thursdays only
  • How: via the Gynaecology service, call 02 477 60 20 (no referral necessary)
  • Cost: EUR 46 per consultation of about one hour. This is currently not reimbursed.

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