Posted: Monday, May 27th, 2019

The change? Perimenopause? Post menopause? The Climacteric?

The menopause is a natural part of aging and it affects 50% of the world’s population. All  of these terms are presented to women and there is much confusion about their meaning. Menopause is a generic term used to describe all the above. Menopause the word means nothing more than your final period, nothing more! Once we have reached 50 years of age, we must have 12 consecutive months period free, before we are said to be definitely menopausal. If you are under 50 it takes 24 months.  Become aware that symptoms, up to 35 in total (the troublemakers) can start long before the last period.   According to the British Menopause Society (2017)) the majority of women experience symptoms for up to 2 years before periods stop.  However, no two women will experience the same set of symptoms, with statistics showing a percentage of women reporting perimenopausal symptoms for up to 10 years before their period stops. This is where I feel more open discussion amongst women will help with awareness. I recently attended Meg Mathews Magnificent Menopause conference in London. One of the speaker’s Dr Louise Newson (now a menopause expert and campaigner) highlighted what the lack of awareness surrounding this time in life, brings, even to female medical professionals. She presented some interesting up to date statistics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80% of women will experience some symptoms.

25% having severe symptoms.

77% of women are unaware of, or misdiagnosed on perimenopause.

100% of women will benefit from lifestyle changes. Exercise, diet, stress management.

66% of women are prescribed anti-depressants (although up to date research contradicts use during menopause!).

1 in 2 women will develop osteoporosis (brittle bones) post menopause.

1 in 2 women will develop heart disease post menopause.

1 in 100 women under 40 become menopausal.

1 in 1,000 under 30 become menopausal.

She powerfully relayed her own personal journey when her periods became irregular in her early 40’s. Along with experiencing other symptoms, fatigue, foggy brain, irritability, considering perimenopause as a diagnosis did not enter her or her medical colleagues’ diagnostic realm, “after all menopause is associated with our 50’s”!!! A brain tumour and fibromyalgia were out ruled. Her light bulb moment came when her daughter one evening asked her why she was angry, and snappy all of the time!! She told this story to highlight the massive effect that lack of awareness in our society is having medically, economically, but primarily for women! Awareness, information, and adopting preventative strategies are key factors in allowing women navigate this natural but very complex period in their lives. Life is certainly not over at menopause, but I do feel we deserve more open discussion and education on a chapter in life, that every woman globally has to navigate.

www.daisynetwork.org.uk provide support and information for those experiencing early menopause.

Catherine O’Keefe @wellness warrior, is the Irish representative.

What women are saying

  • Now that I have the knowledge, language and confidence to speak openly about menopause, it changes everything

    Angie Co. Cork

  • Silence afflicts too many women's lives – the silence that keeps women from expressing themselves freely, from being full participants even in the lives of their own families

    Hillary Rodham Clinton 1995

  • I highly recommend this 6-week course to any woman wanting to understand menopause and themselves. I personally found it brilliant. It gave me back my confidence in myself. I met a group of open-minded women. There is nowhere women can go to talk with other women about this time in our lives. I have learned not to let menopause define me. I always had thought of it negatively, would never have seen it as a time to open up to new possibilities and opportunities. Breeda covers everything you need to know over the 6 weeks.”

    Anna

  • This programme has helped me become more relaxed and empowered around menopause. I have a great GP and am taking HRT. It’s the information sharing with a group of like-minded women that is very powerful at this time of my life. The course was shared by Breeda in a fun and light-hearted way which reduces any stress or anxiety that one may have. I now have a better understanding of myself with lots of strategies to manage symptoms and would highly recommend this course.”

    Jennifer

  • I would highly recommend this 6-week course. I received so much support from Breeda and the group. It gave me the confidence to move forward. I learned about the physical, mental and spiritual changes that occur during menopause and it all made so much sense. My relationship with myself has grown and I understand so much more now. I feel positive and very optimistic about the future.

    Sinead

  • Attending this 6 week course was a hugely empowering experience. knowledge and education is certainly power. Meeting other women all in the same phase of life supporting one another was fantastic. I learned I have the power and strength to tackle, control and handle my menopause journey my way. I would hghly recommend this course so much. It has enabked me to move forward.

    Gay

  • Before I met Breeda and started this course, I never had a serious conversation about menopause with anyone. I had very little knowledge about menopause. It is either an embarrassing or a comical subject for conversation. Attending the cafes and 6-week course has been life changing. I now know so much more about menopause and understand myself so much better. I have become more pro-active with my health and am looking forward to the next phase of my life. Every woman deserves this information.

    Elaine

  • Breeda has a great way of imparting information. I really enjoyed the 6-week programme and would highly recommend it to any woman who may be curious about what menopause is really all about.

    Ger

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