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Menopause: The Silent Thief

Energise and Southcote are starting a 'Meno-Peri-Pausal' Women's Group. This is an opportunity to share a coffee and your own experiences with women who may have been there, are living there, or have done it. We can talk through our shared challenges, and introduce you to what is available to manage this stage in life.

The idea for the development of this event came from an end of class discussion with my group of fellow Energise chums. All of us are either going through or coming up to, or in my case at the end of the time of our lives, that is described as....

The ‘Menopause’ or ‘The Change’

I entered Perimenopause in my late 30s, shortly after having my last baby, I found the experience of a young baby at 39 exhausting and very different from my first child 8 years before.

By the time I was 41, I was clearly unable to function the same as I had done. I found myself back at work full time, not firing on all cylinders, often confused and always knackered.

The symptoms varied greatly and I was not always sure whether it was due to the dreaded ‘M’ or not!

I found myself having heavy periods getting closer together, an inability to get a good night’s sleep, night sweats, joint pain, panic attacks, hair loss (a bit of an issue if you are a hairdresser) and fluctuations in weight. The final blow came when someone crept into my bedroom at the dead of night and stole my libido.

Added to that the days when I couldn’t focus or find words and an inability to be rational or feeling persecuted for no real reason. My Husband described those early days as ‘Living with a Menopausal Terrorist'.

I have spent the last 50 years working as a hairdresser and have been in a fortunate position. People will share their innermost fears and experiences with a trusted hairdresser.

A chance conversation occurred with a client, about waking up sometimes at night with a feeling of pressure and fullness around my heart and panicking that I had some sort of heart condition. She almost leapt out of the chair exclaiming ‘I have that and I thought it was just me, what a relief’. Incidentally we are both now in our late 60s, still alive and well with no evidence of a heart condition.

This set me on a path, discussing with any client who expressed an interest, sharing of all things menopausal; what had helped me, what had helped others, and what books and articles to read.

Tricks and tips for relief from so many of the symptoms, the pros and cons of lab developed HRT versus natural plant based oestrogens, real life recommendations, from real life women exactly the same as me.

The most beneficial for me was definitely the sharing of knowledge. It became my strength, my saviour and my sanity.

There is no 'quick fix', no 'one cure for all women'. What suits one women may not have the same impact for others. The medical profession doesn’t always have the answers and that is if you are lucky enough to be able to access a sympathetic doctor.

So menopause does not have to be “the silent thief”. This group is a coming together of all women, at all stages of the changes that happen to our bodies when we are no longer of child-bearing age.

This is a forum for women both young and old to discuss their experiences with women, imparting their knowledge and learning from others over a coffee or tea.

Written by Sharon Stubbs

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