Please Help To Make Menopause Matter

Eight years ago my life changed forever when surgery to remove my womb and both of my ovaries plunged me straight into surgical menopause. Due to a complete lack of information from doctors, both before and after my surgery I had no idea of all the possible consequences of oestrogen depletion. Just a few months later, having endured the most dreadful psychological symptoms, I came very close to taking my own life.

During the time that my mental health was rapidly deteriorating I searched frantically to see if anyone else felt like they were going mad. Shockingly I found thousands of women in chat rooms online all desperately searching for answers. On a particularly dark day I plucked up the last few threads of my courage and rang my GP practice to ask to be put in touch with a menopause support service only to be told that there wasn’t one. When I finally stopped sobbing I told my husband that if I ever felt like me again that I would make damn sure that I changed things for the future.

In 2015 I set up Menopause Support https://menopausesupport.co.uk/ on my kitchen table offering a support service and free information resources to women and their families and educational workshops to employers. The private Facebook group The Menopause Support Network followed, which now supports over 14,500 women. In October 2018 I launched the national #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign with three clear aims which call for

Mandatory menopause education for all GPs
• Menopause guidance in every workplace
• Menopause to be included in the new RSE curriculum in secondary education
  (I am delighted to say that we achieved this in England in July 2019)

If you are wondering why menopause matters let me share some statistics with you. Women are 51% of the population and they will all experience menopause. Three in four will experience symptoms and one in four will describe their symptoms as debilitating yet GPs do not currently receive mandatory menopause training. This absurd knowledge gap often results in menopause symptoms going unrecognised by doctors meaning that women are turned away on multiple occasions. Alternatively they are misdiagnosed as stressed and depressed and offered antidepressants instead of the NICE recommended treatment for menopause symptoms.

Many women receive no information after medical treatment or surgery which can induce an early menopause. One in 100 women under 40 will experience menopause yet many are simply told that they are too young. A recent BBC survey showed that 48% of women surveyed between the ages of 50 and 55 said that menopause affected their mental health. The highest rate of suicide for women in the U.K is currently between the ages of 45 and 54. Ultimately women are being failed, leaving many of them absolutely no choice but to fund costly private menopause care. Many others are completely disenfranchised and needlessly left to suffer in silence.

When unsupported, menopause can have a significant effect in the workplace; in a recent CIPD survey 59% of the women surveyed said that it had a negative impact at work. Relationships can suffer too, in a survey for the British Menopause Society 51% of women said their symptoms had an effect on intimacy with partners and 38% of partners said they felt helpless and had no idea how to offer support.

Menopause is not just a women’s issue, it can have an impact on families, friendships, careers, employers, the NHS and wider society all due to a lack of education, information and support yet none of us are being taught anything about menopause or receiving adequate information before it comes along. Women and their families are paying an unacceptably high price for that in too many ways.

The passion project that started on my kitchen table has, until now, been managed and funded by me alone but I have simply run out of hours in the day and don't have the resources to grow this desperately needed project on my own. I am blessed to have two fabulous women who have offered to come on board to enable Menopause Support, now a registered not for profit Community Interest Company, to step up the campaign and provide even more resouces and support services.

We have some very exciting plans for the future but we need your help to achieve the two vitally important remaining aims of the campaign and to create more educational and support resources for women, their families, employers and health care professionals. Your support will enable us to

·         Drive our campaign forward

·         Ensure more women get the right help at the right time

·         Provide support for those who have none

·         Create new educational resources

·         Provide a free information resource 


What began as a one woman mission to ensure better menopause care and support for the future has now become a movement for women’s health. If you are a woman, know a woman or love a woman please support us, your contribution, however big or small could make all the difference for the future of menopause education, care and support. YOU can make a difference, TOGETHER, as a community, we MUST ensure that we are the generation who #MakeMenopauseMatter

From the bottom of my heart

Thank you.

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • £5 
    • 8 hrs
  • Lynne Hamilton 
    • £10 
    • 12 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • £5 
    • 13 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 1 d
  • Eils McQ 
    • £10 
    • 1 d
See all

Organizer

Diane Danzebrink 
Organizer
Stewkley, South East England, United Kingdom
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