Exercise | Fitness | Menopause

Menopause support

Hi all!
I’m sorry, last week I promised a blog from a guest blogger on intermittent bleeding along with a section from me on simple stretching exercises at home.

However, after my interactions with Meno’s over the last few days; face to face and on social media I felt compelled to send this instead.
It’s a bit of a last-minute blog, so apologies for any mistakes on a Sunday night.
Menopause at work
On Friday I delivered a presentation to Nottinghamshire Police and Fire Rescue service; around 50 women and a couple of men. My presentation covers, in a nut shell, what menopause is, how It affects us physically and emotionally; how to manage symptoms and talking about relationships at work and home.
I have delivered many talks now and always reference my own personal menopause experience to reassure women the that if I had felt how I did when I entered menopause, I would not be standing in front of them speaking. I was a wreck.

My job as a health and fitness adviser/coach of over 20 years covers a broad spectrum of topics; but the bottom line is to help my client gain or maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

I started MENO&ME because I had such a bad time of menopause and I did not want women to suffer as I did.
My journey has been a long one and I have had some very dark times. I even wanted to give up my studio in London Bridge that I have had for 13 years and my career that I love of 25 years. 1 in 3 women want to give up work because of menopause symptoms, I now know I wasn’t on my own.
Out of all the 32 symptoms I think I suffered with 100% of them.
MENO&ME was also inspired by clients/friends; we all seemed to start menopause around the same time and was so saddened on the lack of information and support available.
I am a bit of a hippy at heart, I feel that everything happens for a reason.
My dreadful journey means I am equipped to support other women and to create a community of women who can support each other, I hope I do this through our private Facebook grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1694658214116003/?ref=bookmarks My social media and these blogs.
I hope, my message is upbeat and positive I feel it is an extension of what I do every day. I also want to reassure women that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you are not on your own.
Yes, I do feel a so much happier and healthier, but I do not take anything for granted and if I don’t keep all my health plates spinning then I know it can all come tumbling down.
Lack of support – breaking the taboo
I have been blogging and helping women through menopause for the last 3 years and felt that we were making progress.
But these last few days realise that we still have such a long way to go for women to access correct information, help and support.
Treatments and horror stories

It still saddens me that women are so confused as to what is happening to their body and mind and many are not receiving the right treatment from GP’s.
Many are still being prescribed anti-depressants for anxiety and depression; this is treating the symptom not the cause – which is a decrease in oestrogen.
I suffered for 10 months with what I thought was thrush, it was worse than thrush, I could not bath, sleep and sex – forget it!
It was horrible I visited 4 GP’s and 1 well women’s clinic, none could work out how to treat it. I finally went to another GP in the surgery who handed me a prescription and said it was down to menopause. She did not look me in the eye and gave me no reassurance. When I read the patient information leaflet it stated this internal cream was treatment for “atrophic vaginitis” I sobbed and sobbed, I thought my sex life – which was totally non-existent then had no hope of returning to any type of normality. How could it as the leaflet stated that my vagina was thin and shrinking!?
I am all good now; I still use vaginal moisturiser, but I think o well, I use moisturiser for the rest of my body why should my vagina be any different!
The treatment is so simple but so many GP’s are not aware of this. (see below a link for further info.)
Some, however have not been as lucky as me, Jane Lewis – author of the book. This book is a must read for all women all ages.
Here are some comments from women on Friday – which replicate a lot of messages I receive from women daily.
“I feel like someone has switched a light off.”
“OMG thank you, I thought I had early onset dementia, it’s such a relief to find out that I am not the only one feeling like this.”
“I thought I had recurring thrush – I did not realise that a dry vagina was a symptom and can easily be resolved.”
“I stop mid-sentence and can’t remember what I was saying, my ability to multi-task is non-existent, I have never felt so pathetic.”
I could fill pages on the quotes I receive daily from women.
With each problem there is a solution; but when you are suffering with anxiety, pain, feeling low, hot flushes, brain fog, sever fatigue, anger, night sweats and generally feeling as if your brain is going to explode it is hard to know where to turn.

I know I have been there.
On Friday we talked about sleeplessness and night sweats, I explained that for a while I would fear going to bed, I really did, it was horrible.
The turning point was accepting what was going to happen and that I had to deal with it. So, I found ways to cope. (blog referenced below).
I know that I am still on this journey and welcome making changes.
Last year I would start the day with 3 cups of strong tea whilst listening to the news and working on my laptop before getting out of bed; yep sensory overload first thing!
At the beginning of this year I started religiously meditating for 10 minutes each morning.
Those 10 minutes have given me not just a positive and calm start to the day but a more productive one.
I now look forward to my bed and waking, I look forward to life again; I am making wonderful plans with fabulous people; both socially and professionally.
I feel blessed and happy. I know I have a rocky few years ahead of me (personal stuff) but I am strong and ready for it.
So as your Sunday draws to a close, I would like to apologise for not posting my usual “evidence-based exercise content” but I felt I needed to let you all know that you are not on your own, it will get better, please talk about it and do ask for help.
Make a list of your symptoms and see how you can tackle them individually.
If you would like HRT and your GP does not support you, please download the letterfrom our site that the very kind Dr Louise Newson has written to point your GP in the right direction.
I hope you have a great week Meno’s and any questions please do shout.
Hugs as always. Xxx