Anna is a holistic therapist from Plymouth, who knows us having done her Jennifer Young Training in oncology touch treatments. She told us about her experience with menopause, from talking to her GP to using supplements to control her symptoms.
What’s been your experience of menopause?
It’s been a bit of a slow burner! I have no idea when it started - I started having trouble with periods 30 years ago and I didn’t get a great deal of help from the doctor. I asked her when I would know if I had started the menopause and she just said my periods would stop, but mine hadn’t.
What are your top three hates about menopause?
Mood swings, bad sleep cycles and extra wrinkles!
What are your top tips for managing it?
I would say:
- Layer up so when you start to get warm you can take a layer off, when you get boiling hot you can take another layer off and as you start cooling down you can put them all back on.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Try not to eat too much chocolate or drink too much caffeine - that’s hard - being a professional cake eater.
I think everyone finds their own way of coping though.
Has there been anything good that’s come from menopause?
The freedom of being myself. I’m better at expressing myself now and I don’t care as much what other people think. I think it’s a maturity of your own person - you become more able to speak your truth.
Is there anything you would like other people to know about menopause?
I think there are lots of things. Menopause isn’t the end of the world - there’s a lot to be gained by going through it. It’s something that needs to be talked about; it’s not a taboo subject. I have clients tell me about things and symptoms they might not have expected and I can say if I experienced the same thing - there are so many people with so many different experiences, there’s something for everyone to relate to.
Has your skin been affected by menopause?
Yes, it’s got dryer and I have age spots. However, I use Jennifer Young products, which my skin really likes. I found others to be a bit oily - they sit on the skin.
You did go to the doctor but didn’t find it very helpful?
I went on and off for a few years because I was having trouble with my periods. I had a coil but I had fibroids and they were touching, which caused a lot of bleeding and I was really uncomfortable.
After about eight months my doctor took the coil out. I asked what was next and she said to see how I got on. I panicked when she said I should leave it for a few months. I later saw a gynaecologist and I ended up with the microwave ablation, which meant I wouldn’t get any more periods, which was great, but she didn’t say that I should go back to discuss HRT, so I just take supplements and try to control it like that.
How do you think menopause affects relationships?
I usually keep things to myself but as I haven’t been particularly well and it’s been getting worse, I eventually got some kind of diagnosis. Now my husband is a bit more sympathetic with that side of things as it’s been a very controlling side of my life. I think he’s got more tolerant as he has got older too. It’s just talking to each other really.
You can read more MPlus stories - find out about Naomi’s experience.