When we set out to create M+ we wanted to talk about real women and real experiences in all their glory. Jane kindly agreed to share her story, and even modelled in our photoshoot.
Jane is a skincare practitioner, specialising in natural alternatives to aesthetic treatments, such as radio frequency non-surgical facelifts, as well as massage, reflexology and reiki.
Having been through menopause herself, she now aims to help her clients to navigate their menopause journey by showing empathy and offering holistic support.
What’s been your experience of menopause?
My experience of menopause has been quite bad. It’s been about five years now, and I’ve had quite bad stomach bloating, anxiety, really bad skin, and forgetfulness.
Was the thing you hated the most?
Probably the anxiety, I used to feel like I was a zombie walking the earth and there was nobody to help me because no one understood. My family, my doctor - they just wanted to give me HRT, and it’s about so much more than that.
What happened when you went to the doctor?
I went to the doctor and they prescribed me HRT straight away. They didn’t take my blood pressure and they didn’t ask what I wanted. I wanted natural solutions but I left with a prescription for HRT. After two days I was in A&E and had nearly had a heart attack. The results were inconclusive, but they thought it wasn’t anything to do with the menopause and it was likely caused by a low level of B12, which is a known side effect of HRT. They hadn’t even checked to see if I was already low in it before giving me the drug.
What are your top tips for anyone going through menopause now?
Look after yourself. I started running and am now training for the London Marathon. I also took up pilates, which has really helped my mind and my mood. To help with the anxiety I started going on more walks when I felt as though things were getting too much and that has made a big difference.
Has anything good come out of your experience?
It’s not my experience specifically, but I think a good thing is that people now know more about it because it’s in the news and it’s being talked about more. As a result, people around me are more understanding and my partner and children see it begin to understand why I don’t always feel brilliant.
Do you think menopause is something that should be addressed holistically?
Absolutely, 100%! I feel that there should be practitioners out there, like myself, who can support menopausal women. I talk to people everyday, I can relate to them, we joke about it, it makes them feel that they’re not going through it alone - there are loads of women going through it.