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The importance of discussing the menopause

16 October 2019

Women in Jersey are being encouraged to discuss the subject of menopause and approach their GP for help and support on World Menopause Day.

World Menopause Day is held every year on 18 October and aims to raise awareness of the impact of menopause and the support available for women experiencing symptoms.

Dr Fiona Nelson, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Health and Community Services said: “We urge women not to struggle alone through the menopause and speak to their GP about the support available to them.

“Menopause is an inevitable process that every woman will go through at some stage in her life and a process every woman throughout history has gone through. However, it is not experienced by all women in the same way and culture has been found to have an impact on this.

“The awareness day aims to encourage women to talk about how they are coping with the range of symptoms that can occur, with the hope that employers, colleagues, family members and friends can better support women going through this process and change the culture of hiding away and not talking about it.

“Changes can have a lasting impact on women’s confidence, intimate relationships, and work life and can cause discomfort, embarrassment and affect concentration.”

Some facts about the menopause include:

  • the average age the menopause begins in the UK is 51-52 years
  • common symptoms include hot flushes and night sweats that can affect the quality of life for up to 25% of women
  • women can also experience an interrupted sleep pattern, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, headaches, hair loss, bladder problems, loss of libido and vaginal dryness
  • the entire process can last anywhere between 2-10 years or even longer

Dr Fiona Nelson said: “Our core message is that here is no need to suffer in silence. There are ways to make living with menopause less impactful on daily life.”

Speaking to a GP could lead to an appointment with the Gynecology Department where more tailored information and help can be found depending on the individual nature of the woman’s symptoms.

Resources are available for women experiencing the menopause and those who want to understand more from local GP surgeries and the Gynecology Department at the General Hospital.

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