In this story: Mental health / Menopause / Women's Health /

“We're the first generation that's talking about menopause.”

“Everything was just a bit hard – personally and professionally. Meetings that normally wouldn’t faze me were just like, this is a big deal. I was kind of stealing myself for things. I began to think I’ve lost my mind, and I almost didn’t recognise who I was, because usually I’m pretty laid back and able to deal with things. My partner, he knew that what was going on before I did.

I went to see my GP about something else, and she was like, “how are you doing menopausal-ly?” I told her I wasn’t there yet. It wasn’t long after that when I thought, you know what I am there.

I’m really lucky with my GP – Menopause is one of her pet projects. I was a bit hesitant about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), because I was ignorant and I was still repeating stuff that was in the media probably 40 years ago; you’re more likely to get breast cancer, and this and that and the next. She’s really up to date with the latest research, and she told me that that research was flawed. Here’s the latest research. Here’s how the risks stack up. She was able to share information with me and didn’t push one thing or another. Just, you know, when you’re ready to come and talk about it, come and talk about it.

We’re the first generation that’s talking about menopause. It’s a regular topic of conversation amongst my friends. Some of it is serious conversation and some of it is, “isn’t being irritated at everything a pain?” There is the previous generation that thought, “we just get on with it, and don’t bother with going to your doctor, don’t bother with HRT. It’s just something you put up with.” So we’re learning to talk about it and hopefully it will become something that people do just talk about.

The HRT has made a massive difference – more than I could have imagined. It doesn’t work for everybody but I’ve been lucky that it worked for me purely practically by balancing out my hormones. But I think that the shared experience has really helped. The ability to talk about it in work, with friends, with my partner. That openness around menopause has been invaluable.”

More information about menopause can be found on NHS inform.

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