More than 80 women joined an event at Weston-super-Mare’s Winter Gardens this week (Tuesday 29th June) to discuss the impacts of menopause with medical experts and break down the stigma that still surrounds it.
The socially distanced event, run by the local General Practice (GP) partnership Pier Health Group, brought a panel of speakers together to discuss a diverse range of topics put forward by the audience, including common symptoms, mental health impacts, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), sexual health and managing the menopause at work.
The menopause is diagnosed when a woman has had no period for 12 months. This normally occurs as a natural process but can also happen as a result of surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. In the UK, the average age of menopause is 51.
Around 80 percent of women will have symptoms including hot flushes, fatigue and migraines - and in 25 percent of cases those symptoms will be severe. Recent research from the think-tank Britain Thinks shows that menopause is still a taboo, with 47% of the public agreeing and 43% saying they knew very little about it.
Brandie Deignan, Chief Executive of Pier Health Group, said:
‘Breaking down the stigma that still surrounds menopause and giving women a chance to discuss its effects together openly is exactly what we were hoping to achieve with this event.
‘The fact that we had such a good response shows just how much this kind of conversation is needed. Every day, local GPs and clinicians are supporting women who are going through the menopause. It’s a life-changing event that affects women’s careers and relationships as well as their health, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there about treatment and support.
‘This was a great chance to have an open discussion and bust some myths – as well as sharing helpful resources. We’re grateful to everyone who gave their time for free to bring this issue the attention it deserves, including Weston College for supporting with the venue.’
Women who are experiencing any concerning menopause symptoms are encouraged to speak to their GP. More information about the menopause can be found at the British Menopause Society and Women’s Health Concern websites.
Pier Health Group will be running a series of public events on health and wellbeing issues that matter to communities. People are advised to check their website for further information.