Many women are let down by GPs when it comes to menopause care. But we can all take back a bit of control. Each of us can educate ourselves in order to deal with our symptoms. Once we understand our health and wellbeing challenges, we can do something about them and get on with the rest of our lives.
You can deal with this time of life by understanding the many menopause myths that are out there. Don’t believe everything you hear. Make sure you know the facts about this time of life, and can make the choices that are right for you.
We are on a mission to educate women about this time of life. Our most recent event was at the beautiful Lime Wood Hotel in Hampshire. To a packed room of spa members (standing room only and a waiting list), MPowered’s founder Saska Graville and one of our medical experts Dr Stephanie Goodwin, discussed menopause facts (and the fictions). They covered symptoms, solutions and why, once you get it all sorted, midlife can be a liberating and powerful time.
So many questions and topics were covered during the evening, but there were some themes that kept coming up. And many menopause myths that needed to be corrected.
Here’s what we all need to know about wellbeing in midlife.
GPs are letting women down
Not all GPs of course, there are many wonderful GPs helping midlife women. But it’s a sad reality that despite this being a life stage that every single one of their female patients will experience at some point, many GPs are clueless.
We heard stories of women being dismissed because “you’re still having periods”, being told they had to come off HRT at a certain age and being given incorrect information about whether or not they could take HRT in the first place.
Sorry to swear, but it’s a bloody disgrace. It’s insulting that the medical establishment fobs women off like this. Don’t put up with it. Go armed with the facts, insist on seeing another GP if your first one won’t help and make sure that you get the support you need.
HRT scare stories have a lot to answer for
This is a biggie. So many women are nervous about taking the HRT route because they fear the side effects. Will it give them breast cancer? Is it made of mare’s urine? Should they pay a small fortune for HRT lozenges or specially blended creams that are concocted just for them by a private clinic? We could scream with frustration.
Dr Stephanie Goodwin ran through all of the facts – not the fictions – and you could feel the relief in the room. Drinking too much alcohol is a higher risk. Being overweight is a higher risk. Women on HRT are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis, heart disease and many other conditions. So throw away the lozenges and get properly prescribed NHS HRT. Above all, do not be scared. Talk to your GP, get the facts and then make an informed choice. Don’t be put off because of the misogynistic myths that surround anything to do with the menopause. (We could rant for hours on this.)
Most of us are a bit clueless
We’ve all heard of hot flushes, but most women are blissfully unaware of the many other symptoms and how early they can strike. The word ‘perimenopause’ needs to be in our vocabulary. So many of the evening’s guests shared their stories of the anxiety and brain fog that hit in their mid 40s, a time when they weren’t even thinking about menopause. It’s clear that much more awareness-raising needs to be done on this. The more we all know what we’re dealing with, the better we can take action and sort it out. Knowledge is power.
Last but not least, women are brilliant
It’s powerful when women share stories and experiences. Being honest and vulnerable about this stuff helps everyone else in the room deal with their own challenges better. We’re at the top of our game in these midlife years. Once we’ve dealt with the symptoms, nothing can hold us back.
Our Lime Wood guests talked of the adventures they still want to have. They are going in new career directions and have a focus and drive that comes during these years. That is the reality of midlife.
Get informed, deal with all the other challenges and you can fly.