The road to menopause can be long. Or short. Winding. Or pretty straightforward. Bumpy. Or for some, smooth sailing. We might be afflicted by a myriad of symptoms. But we might not. We might be fortunate enough to breeze through it. But we might not. In fact, the only predictable thing about menopause – other than its inevitability – is that it really is very unpredictable.
Menopausal women are the fastest growing work demographic in the UK, many have dependent children at home, elderly parents to care for, busy lives to lead and a lot of responsibilities. We simply can’t afford to be blindsided by the unpredictability of our menopause so let’s prepare ourselves for the inevitable, then when it does come knocking at our door, we’re ready for it.
When it comes to Menopause,Knowledge is Power
For many years’ menopause was shrouded in secrecy and shame. It was as uncomfortable to talk about as it was to endure (almost!?!). But times are changing and so are attitudes to women’s health. Only last month MP Rachel Maclean and Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that menopause would be included within the national curriculum, a step in the right direction.
It is vital we as women and role models for future generations - embrace our bodies and empower our minds freeing us to feel fulfilled at every stage of life. By knowing the facts from the fiction we are in a position to make informed choices and therefore take better control of our menopause journeys.
’10 years ago early menopause blindsided me’ says Livia, Founder of Menopause Lifestyle Solution. ‘One minute I was enjoying a successful career, happy marriage and great sex life, and the next my world was crumbling around me. It simply didn’t occur to me as a fit 40-year-old woman that I was in the throes of menopause. It’s not something you talked about, and certainly not something our mothers or teachers told us about.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Livia firmly believes that her own menopause experience would have been far more positive if she’d been better informed. Her message to others is simple. ‘Knowledge is power. There are some really informative podcasts, online resources and books available. Familiarise yourself with the symptoms. The first stage of menopause is peri-menopause – this is when oestrogen levels start to drop. The fluctuation can lead to irregular periods, tender breasts, and bad PMS. And don’t be afraid to talk about it – to friends, family, colleagues and of course, your GP – it’s a natural stage of a women’s life and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.
Be ahead of the menopause game with lifestyle choices.
Needless to say, the choices we make in life have a significant impact on our ability to cope with menopause. Being ‘healthy’ and having a ‘healthy’ attitude towards food as we approach mid-life is important on so many levels. It helps us stave of menopause related health issues, manage weight gain and associated risks, and maintain mental well being.