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The Truth About the Menopause - Part 1

Feeling like you’re ageing overnight? Hot flushes? Low sex drive? Poor memory? Sleepless nights? Depressed? Anxious? Joint pain? Painful in the vagina region? Symptoms can present in SO many ways, many women can even feel suicidal!

I am continually shocked when I talk about periods, sex drives, menopause, all the good stuff with my ladies, about how shy they are to talk about this stuff.

There should be NO shame, NO embarrassment – this should NOT be taboo – half of the population go through the menopause! There are currently around 13 million menopausal women in the UK alone! So, why do we find it so hard to talk about? Why is there such little care?

Men and women alike, we should ALL be shouting about the menopause. Live marvellously into your ageing years! We should NOT put up with feeling rotten either physically or mentally. It doesn’t have to be like that.

You aren’t going mad, you aren’t a unique snowflake going through it, your periods may continue in amongst all of these symptoms – it is all NORMAL…whatever normal is. Early menopause is also more common than you’ll ever know – even ladies as young as in their teens, potentially heart-breaking, I know but true and should be spoken about!

We only have to see this as simply a transition in our lives, so let’s prepare ourselves, educate ourselves as best we can for this potentially fabulous stage of life and absolutely do not let yourself be fobbed off by any health care professional.

Unfortunately, GPs don’t have to extensively study the menopause during their training, there is very little education around the menopause for them. Don’t you think as it’s so common, again, HALF of the population going through it, health care professionals should have to learn more? There is only a single NHS menopause clinic in Birmingham, the second city! How can that be right?

I understand the fears around hormone replacement therapy (HRT), its historical links with cancer, heart disease and blood clots are sticking around and it’s scary but we can educate ourselves around this and we should be able to obtain greater support to make an informed decision about the best course of action as individuals. Many women are ashamed to be on HRT – should there really be this stigma?

The menopause is essentially the body going into a state of oestrogen deficiency and HRT ‘tops up’ said hormone through patches, gels or sprays. Progesterone is also used, often in tablet form. There are, of course, different types and doses and we must consider the validity of the studies first linking HRT with these health problems, the sample sizes, study designs, they have their limitations, we HAVE to be mindful of this. Obesity, drinking, poor nutrition, inactivity, all on the figures FAR more dangerous for women than HRT treatment – but why are you still leading an unhealthy lifestyle but listening to negative reports on HRT? The media and lack of useful knowledge allowing us to make an informed decision for us as individuals! Maybe it is for you, maybe it isn’t but you and only you can make that decision with the RIGHT help.

Want to know what should make fabulous moves to making you FEEL better though whatever you choose? Optimising your lifestyle, activity and nutrition! Resistance training is HUGE as your bone density reduces during the menopause – let’s get STRONG girls. Let’s eat to FUEL those glorious bodies, not think about how we can eat in order to shrink ourselves. You better know that becoming a grander version of yourself is huge and is exactly what we should be after – how empowering if all women thought that way?

Menopause Doctor is an information website for women that I suggest you take a look at, it’s SO difficult to know what to believe, I know, with such conflicting information. There is A LOT on there but from what I have seen it seems a fairly balanced look at the menopause from someone I suspect is very well educated in the area. What is great though, is that girls are, in the future, going to be taught about the menopause in schools. I hope that soon women’s day to day lives are not negatively affected by the menopause and its symptoms, not affecting their work and currently lacklustre family and social lives.

I love the community that I’m in at the moment, I spent my morning talking about pelvic floor and peeing yourself with my lovely lady clients – I will continue to do everything I can to normalise talking about this stuff for the sake of women’s health. Please help me speak out. Talk to your friends, you are not alone.

Fun fact and myth busting that I simply challenge you to share with someone today – yes, women can still orgasm after the menopause…

Peace and love, A x

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