So, today is International Women’s Day 2021, their theme this year being #Choose to challenge and on their website their main question being…
How will you help to forge a gender equal world?
In 2019 I published a book entitled ‘Men…Let’s Talk Menopause’. I partner published because after approaching several of the main publishers I was getting nowhere so thought, oh flip, let’s just blow a large amount of money because I felt passionately enough that in order for women to have a better experience of going through the menopause men most certainly needed to be informed as well…
Today I continue to inform not only women but men, as well all age groups…it’s so important isn’t it to inform the younger generations so they’re better prepared for what might lie ahead. Prevention, where possible, always better than firefighting…
So…in my minuscule way I hope I’m helping…but for now…
Let’s get back to the Menopause…I just wanted to point out a couple of things which sprung to mind after out for a walk with my daughter over the wkend. At one point she glanced across at me and remarked that she thought I was shrinking and must surely be under 5’ by now! On glancing again she commented she thought I might even be nearer 4’5”…cheeky!
I gave up a long time ago worrying about my height coming from parentage of a mother who was 4’11” and a father who reached the dizzying heights of 5’6”, I soon realised I more than likely wasn’t going to suddenly develop into a long - legged gangly individual and became happy with my lot. Yes, I’ve had a life time of often feeling like I’m conversing with people’s navels but there are seriously other things to worry about in life! As for my daughter I think she’s peaked at 5’2” for now but with a father who is over 6’ (who also in her opinion and that of her siblings is shrinking!), she lives in hope that she will have a delayed growth spurt!
My point …we are all born with one body…you might be happy with your lot, in which case hurrah, or you might not be that happy with it, either way it’s the only one you’re going get so the sooner you make the most of it the better! In other words, please look after it.
Essentially what I mean by that is get to know it - get to know every inch of it, know what’s normal for you, how does it react to certain things, for example changes to your diet, alcohol levels, caffeine levels? When it comes to the menopause, what’s your menstrual cycle like, has it changed, anything you should be concerned about? What other symptoms are you experiencing that you could maybe do something about? The list goes on.
One of the most important things when thinking about health is to be aware and to be informed, but to then react to anything which you think might not be ok and even if it turns out to be fine at least you’ve reacted and done something about it.
Your body is your responsibility, health care professionals are not telepathic, they wont call you in to discuss something unless they know something’s amiss. So it’s up to you to look after that body of yours, stay up to date with cervical screening, mammograms and bowel tests…have a good look at your lifestyle choices, tweak your diet, alcohol and caffeine levels if they need it and do some form of exercise regularly.
It’s a no brainer isn’t it if you want to try and have a better quality of life in those post menopausal years…be as proactive as you can where the basics are concerned and get help and advice in other areas.
That’s ok you might be thinking but I have addressed the basics and I’m finding it hard to get the help and advice I need right now with a pandemic in full swing. Well my advice to you is don’t get put off from asking.
Here’s a photo of one of our labs and a fairly recent addition to our family, my daughter’s two year old terrier, this image was taken when she was only 9 weeks old but she soon made it very clear she was going to get noticed! So my advice to you is instead of resembling our placid labradors who never make a fuss, try to think like Pippa the terrier instead! She’s not grown much bigger than this image but boy do you know when she’s around, she knows how to stand her ground with the largest of dogs we meet on walks (very comical), plus also when she fancies a bit of TLC!
My point…sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone to get the advice you need and it might take a bit of persistence. Everyone is under pressure just now within the NHS so it might take a little longer to get seen but don’t give up.
Don’t forget if you do need to see someone take as much information along to your appointment as possible, write things down or make a note on your phone. The more information you give your nurse/GP the better they will be able to help and treat you.
Plus don’t forget as women we can historically tend to think of others and their needs before ourselves so importantly give yourself that virtual hug now and again, make sure you get some time out just for you, give yourself the odd treat, take a moment and get some all essential R&R.
When looking for information on-line know where to find the most accurate information - remember to look at who has written articles, what year were they written, are they up to date things like that. Good starting points…
Womens Health concern : www.womens-health-concern.org : great fact sheets
BMS : www.thebms.org.uk : publications scroll to tools for clinicians - good summaries
NICE guidelines : www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23
Squeezy app : www.squeezyapp.com : essential pelvic floor help and advice
Daisy Network : www.daisynetwork.org
The Eve Appeal : www.eveappeal.org.uk
Endometriosis UK: www.endometriosis-uk.org
Any information is as accurate as possible at time of posting and is for information purposes only. The information and support that Let’s Talk Menopause provides is for your own personal use. It is not intended to replace or substitute the judgement of any medical professional you may come in contact with. You should always seek advice from you healthcare professional regarding a medical condition.