Guest Blog: Negotiating the Menopause
Dr. Amanda E Smith is one of the expert speakers at our upcoming Menopause Retreat on Sunday 26 January – find the full details here. We are delighted to share Dr Amanda Smith, British Menopause Society Recognised Menopause Expert’s guest blog below.
The menopause is a stage that all women reaching ‘mid-life’ experience. However, many are unprepared for as it tends not to be discussed openly and hasn’t been on the school or family doctor education curriculae (although national campaigns run by motivated women are trying to change this – e.g. #MakeMenopauseMatter and #KnowYourMenopause campaigns).
Although many negotiate the menopause without major problems, a significant number of women experience moderate/severe symptoms that can have a big impact on health and well-being as well as work and relationships: in ‘mid-life’ – often women are juggling demanding jobs, school-age children and elderly parents. Average UK female life expectancy is 83.2 years so many women live post-menopause for at least one third of their life. One in a hundred women experience a premature menopause under the age of 40 and one in twenty an early menopause under the age of 45 – both are associated with adverse effects on bone, heart, brain and mental health.
Symptoms often develop insidiously and if they’re not classical flushes and sweats, but non-specific like low mood, joint aches and poor concentration, or if they start many years later like vaginal and bladder problems, can result in the menopause not being considered as the cause.
As a result of the education gap, many women are unaware of the impact of symptoms and later health problems. Maintaining a balanced diet, taking regular physical activity and not smoking all help symptoms and adverse health outcomes. Many women are confused about the benefits and risks of the many treatment options and experts can be difficult to find. Stress is also a big issue at a time when women may be at their busiest. Women can struggle to prioritise their own needs, however making time for relaxing and pleasurable activities should be regarded as a necessity, not a luxury.
Dr. Amanda E Smith – British Menopause Society Recognised Menopause Expert
Find out more useful hints and tips from Dr Amanda Smith at our upcoming Menopause Retreat on Sunday 8 March.