It feels like a long time  ago that I was writing blogs about the menopause in 2015/16:

Menopause

A positive take on the menopause

Celebrating the menopause

The shift to fifty

and female hormones:

Hormones and the female brain

Periods are political

To be honest, I don’t really think about the menopause much these days as I’m on HRT and so don’t have any symptoms which cause me problems.  Yes I can see my skin tone changing and fine lines where there were none, my hair is whiter and I have a dodgy big toe joint, but I feel very lucky to feel healthy and well.

I don’t think it is an accident.  When I read my diaries as well as the blogs from 2015/16, I can see I was struggling.  I was one of the lucky women who had an excellent GP, who took the perimenopause seriously, knew about it and was up to date with the latest guidance.  I was also lucky enough to be able to go for more individual care with Jane Wilkinson who is a specialist in female reproductive health and menopause wellbeing.  I paid for the hour and then half hour follow up.

In the hour we talked not only about signs and symptoms, but the safest way for me to take HRT, but we also talked about life style; diet, exercise, sleep, time out and vitamins.  She made me feel understood and took me seriously.

I was lucky.  So many of my female friends have had GPs who have dismissed it as ‘women’s problems’ and dismissed it, or offered anti-depressants as some kind of cure all.

So when yet another female friend told me yet another dismal tale of being brushed off by her GP, I got in touch with Jane to see if she would talk on the podcast, and she said yes.

I could talk to her for hours because she knows so much about the menopause and is so warm and caring.  What I learned in our conversation was also what an activist she is and how she moving her work to focus on training and informing GPs so all women, not just those of us who could afford it, get the excellent care I had.

Please share this with any woman you know who might need it.  Jane shares lots of information as well as signposting on to other organisations and sources of support.  I’m with Jane in my desire to open up conversations about the menopause and to insist that women get the care they need.

The world needs women, and we need women with the wisdom and experience that peri and post menopausal have.  Being informed and getting help with the menopause is not only personal and biological, it is a feminist issue about supporting women to be healthy and well so that we can take a full and active part in engaging with the many urgent issues the world face.

You can listen to our conversation here or below.

Dr Jane F. Wilkinson is an accredited Menopause Specialist and an experienced GP of over 20 years. She has a particular interest in women’s and sexual health, menopause and lifestyle medicine.
Dr Wilkinson has an advanced level Special Skills Certificate in Menopause Care from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Health Care, for whom she is a Diplomate and Trainer. She is a member of the British Menopause Society, serving on their Medical Advisory Council for 3 years. She is also a member of the International Menopause Society. She is Wirral GP Champion for Sexual Health and previously worked for West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group as GP Clinical Lead for Maternity.
Dr Wilkinson has lectured to fellow health care professionals for the British Menopause Society and the British Medical Association. She has also provided menopause training for medical professionals in various organisations. Through her training and education company, Menopause Wellbeing, Dr Wilkinson provides a range of training and education events aimed at supporting women through their menopause transition and educating all those with an interest in menopause, both professional and non-professional.
Jane’s links are:
Menopause Wellbeing Facebook: @MenopauseWB Twitter:  @MenopauseWellb1 Website: www.menopausewellbeing.com Email: menopausewellbeing@gmail.com
 
 Women’s Health Concern: https://www.womens-health-concern.org
Menopause Matters:
Manage my Menopause:
Lisa Mosconi, Neuroscientist:
Lisa Mosconi talks to Dr Rangan Chatterjee about female brain health:
Food For The Brain:
Women’s Health Strategy: (for women to complete as an individual and feedback on their personal experiences of healthcare)