Isn’t it weird how when a celebrity celebrity has a baby/teenagers/menopause, it becomes become a ‘thing’. The latest ‘issue’ to be re-branded is the menopause, with Meg Mathews (Noel Gallagher’s ex wife) and Gwyneth Patrow taking it upon themselves to raise awareness and create a range of products to make it all ok. Phew, that’s relief.
Meanwhile, us mere mortals have been soldiering on, trying to make sense of the life altering mood swings, overwhelming anxiety and confusing (for our loved ones) rages . Not to mention the night sweats that startle us awake – no matter how tired we were when we went to bed – and give way to haunting thoughts of doom that last till 4.45am when we fall into the deepest sleep that obviously can’t last – due to the 8.30am breakfast meeting we optimistically arranged when we felt like a normal functioning person.
Menopause is different for everyone, some lucky people sail through with little or no symptoms and others suffer (sometimes in silence) struggling on for months, wondering why they feel so angry/confused/sad/hot etc etc. Only to finally be told by the doctor that nothing can be done – as it’s “hormonal”
Up until recently there has been little or no information or conversation around the subject and saying you were menopausal in the workplace was akin to telling your male school teacher you couldn’t do PE as you had your period.
The fact we are talking about it more and there is an increasing amount of information and more products to help us cope, is surely a good thing. But follow Meg Mathews on Instagram and I’m sure you agree her menopause is very different to women like you and I, who have to go to work everyday and juggle real lives.
Daily workouts, vegan/macrobiotic diets and access to numerous physicians and experts to offer advice can be expensive, so perhaps talking honestly to our mothers and friends and refusing to be fobbed off by our doctors, is a more realistic way to cope and make it less of a taboo subject.
As far as I’m aware my mum didn’t have a menopause – but she equally never talks about periods or childbirth- so I’ve had no bench mark as to how my menopause might play out. But I’m sure as hell going to be honest with my daughter, as being the hottest/angriest person in the room is no fun and by the time she gets to my age, I hope she’s confident enough to shout about it.
In the meantime I’m testing out CBD oil and will let you know how it goes.
Thank you for above article, rings so many bells and just confirms I have not lost my mind/body/emotions, it happens to most of us. HRT not for me and having tried various pills and potions for many years, I took myself off to Neals Yard last month and spoke to a herbalist there, she was very good, very knowledgable and I came away with:
Womens Essence for pulse points smells great, Optimism drops for on wake up, Liquid Ginseng 1/2 tsp in my early afternoon loose tea mix of rosebuds and lemon balm, to combat that crazy tiredness slump, really works, a good multivit with emphasis on the B’s, I feel so much better but half the battle was finding an understanding/ experienced women (near my age) who spent plenty of time with me to go through my symptoms and offer products. Hail Neals Yard, I used to go into Neals Yard in Covent garden from the early 80’s – but over the years have not used them much – I feel this is my way forward its works for me – thought this may be of some use to others.
I for one (peri-menopausal) find Meg’s newletter helpful, interesting and down to earth. Of course she’s a sleb so her instagram is nothing like my daily life, but I think she is doing a good job with this initiative.
Acupuncture, ladies, acupuncture! It changed my whole experience of the dread menopause. I tried three practitioners, until I landed with a woman slightly older than me, who knew exactly what I was talking about (hot flashes, mood swings, shoulder pain, dry eyes, etc, etc). I take B vitamins, sage, agnus castus. Symptoms not entirely gone, because the menopause can’t be cured, it has to be gone through, but they are now at a very liveable low simmer. I actually feel better and more energised than I have in years … I’m 46. Olivia x
Thanks Anna, I have to admit her Instagram put me off so I havent looked at the site too much – will sign up for the newsletter.
Thanks Lisa – love Neals Yard- they also have spas/therapy rooms now too – which sound heavenly.
Thanks Olivia – Ive been meaning try acupuncture, but havent got round to it. Are you in London – would love a recommendation?
I agree with Olivia acupuncture is brilliant, it completely stopped my hot flushes and night sweats, though didn’t help with the mental health issues. I bit the bullet and and started taking HRT, which I have to say has been amazing, I feel like a new person. I went private as I didn’t find my doctor very sympathetic. The menopause doctor on instagram is brilliant for very information and down to earth advice. Gwyenth just makes me want to do a massive eye roll, but then I’m not a fan and I guess the more we talk about the menopause the better.
Hello again, Jane. Afraid I’m not in London – I used to be but decamped recently to Edinburgh. I’m sure if you ask around you could find a sympathetic menopause acupuncturist in London; the British Association of Acupuncturists should be able to help you:
Is it sexist to suggest you look for a woman of a certain age, I wonder? I really found that being treated by someone who had been through it made all the difference. She made many other non-acupuncture-related recommendations. Best of luck and thank you for your fantastic blog: it’s the first thing I look at in the morning. Olivia x
Huge sympathies to all those who have suffered (or continue to suffer) difficult symptoms. I am one of the fortunate ones who was barely aware of it. I did try researching to see if I could uncover any stats on how many women have minimal symptoms but so far haven’t found anything.
My best friend started menopause a few years before me and her symptoms were alarming. She was sleeping on her patio year round, hot flashes were frequent and disruptive. I was scared. I tried to talk to my doctor and she said we would talk about it when it started. I then booked an appointment with a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner. He asked what my mother’s menopause was like because he said almost always a daughter will have similar menopause to her mother. My mother was dead and she never talked about “the change of life” before she died. I had no idea what to expect.
Fortunately, I have had an easy menopause and I haven’t done a thing. My daughters think I talk too much about it but I know that if I am not around in twenty years for their menopause, they will figure out why. W.
thanks Olivia -also not sexist at all – I do the same when asking for a doctor at my practice.
You are lucky Jan – literally no stats and a friend was saying she was studying to become a physiotherapist said they did about 15 minutes on the subject!!
Thanks a lot for this news, its amazing
Back Cohosh will save you from hot flashes!
I am deeply convinced that the age after 50 is not a sentence for either men or women. But now we are talking about women. I will give you an example of how LGBT women relate to the age – https://www.lesbiemates.com/senior-dating.html They go on dates, chat, and sometimes start a family. Hormonal changes cannot limit a person’s desire to be happy in a couple.
That is cool!