My menopause experience: Jane, age 59

Five years post-menopause, Jayne Boyd still experiences some of the consequences of hormone change, but feels that things have finally started to settle down. Here, she talks about her menopause experience and her advice for other women on their menopause journey. 

What has been your menopause experience and what were your symptoms?

On the surface, my menopause has been relatively easy but I recognise that many women don't realise how many of their issues are related to their hormones.  When I had my treatment with Jennifer Young, I was shocked at the things that I had that could be related.

I just did a quick Google for the most common menopause symptoms and I had so many of those that were listed. The things that stand out for me were feeling too hot a lot of the time, especially at night.  I was blessed not to have those strip-every-item-of-clothing-off-and-throw-yourself-into-an-ice-bath flushes, but I did want the window open at night and had to throw the bedclothes off me every few hours.  

I guess it's unsurprising then that I felt tired and my sleep wasn't great.  I'd always been a really good sleeper before that, but I found that I was waking often in the night, sometimes because I was too hot, sometimes because I was too cold and needed to pull the bedding back over myself and sometimes for a wee.  

I'm 59 now and have been period-free for about five years and, though I do sometimes feel quite hot, things have settled down.

Nourish skin and ease tension naturally
Motivating Morning Body Oil


What symptoms did you have and did you see a doctor? If so, what were their recommendations?

I have mentioned all this to my GP who initially prescribed HRT.  I tried it but then began to feel uncomfortable about putting hormones into my body so I stopped and decided to just see if I could manage without.  My GP suggested that I could try red clover supplements if I needed to, but I just pushed through without.  My friend swears by her HRT though, so it's a personal choice.

I have felt far more tired and the GP suggested vitamin D tablets.  They have worked reasonably well but, as my anxiety abated and I was more relaxed I find I am less tired. That said, if I overdo things it takes me longer to recover these days. I've always been pretty full-on, working without a break and going from one thing to the next with gusto, but now I do take a bath, read my book, spend time with God in prayer and go out for a walk, all of which keep me from getting too stressed.

I have always struggled with my weight and the menopause meant my weight crept up by around a stone.  As I'm type 2 diabetic, my GP recommended I have bariatric surgery.  I was determined not to and tried many different approaches, eventually finding, via my Endocrinologist, that the combination of diabetic medications Ozempic and Metformin have helped enormously.

I have had dreadful difficulty in concentrating.  I'm very creative and have always been able to have lots of ideas but I began to have difficulty getting my head out of chaos and under control.  I fitted all the symptoms of ADD and was referred to the Psychiatrist who said it wasn't ADHD because I had not had it all my life, though he said that I did have some very ADD-like symptoms.  He suggested it could be that I was approaching burnout.  This fitted because I had anxiety which led to stress.  

I think it's a really difficult time for women and I've learned that it's not just in the UK but across the world, our age group has a really high incidence of depression and anxiety.  We are dealing with all the stuff our male counterparts are handling like aging parents, the prospect of having retirement with the associated money worries, supporting our offspring who are under so much pressure in a difficult world and of course empty nest emotions when they leave, but we've also got hormonal issues.  Not a great combination. 

Help prepare for a good night's sleep
Comforting Night Body Oil


I recognised so many of my friends going through similar stuff.  I had been terribly depressed after my mother passed away and I struggled with suicidal feelings as well as panic attacks and anxiety.  The GP gave me Propranolol for the anxiety and said I could take it when needed.  The thing was that I didn't always recognise when I was anxious.  Sometimes, I was just my normal stressed self, only more full-on. 

Eventually, after the GP and Psychiatrist said I was approaching burnout, I decided to reduce my working hours by two days a week and get myself under control.  It took a long time and I have quite a bit of EMDR therapy, but eventually I learned to relax better.  I'm still not great at it but I'm in a more normal range and don't need the meds.  I recognise when I'm going off the rails and can take a step back.

I've got good skin but I recognise that it doesn't bounce back so much anymore.  I have used Jennifer Young products for years and they are so beautiful, but I'm getting a few more wrinkles on my face and hands plus my neck is going a bit saggy now too - mainly because of my weight loss. 

One of the big symptoms I noticed was itching.  I find that in the evenings I get hives on my skin around my genitals and under my arms.  I can have itchy lumps that completely disappear by morning.   When I use Jennifer Young MPlus body oil, it's definitely less likely to come up at night, which is a relief because it's unpleasant trying not to scratch when you're sitting watching TV with your family at 10pm!

What's your top hate about menopause?

My top hate about menopause is the way that other people treat us.  They seem to write us off as people who are no longer capable of achieving much. We are to be written off.  We are old and no longer useful.  

Throughout my menopause I ran two businesses plus started an online community to help women who were struggling with finding their purpose in life and supported a number of micro not-for-profit projects that needed help.  I bought a 4.6 litre Mustang and a big left-hand-drive motorhome, both of which I love.  I ran online Zoom meetings that made a positive difference to the members of our online community.  

I still managed to support my elderly mother-in-law who had dementia plus my daughter who has Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.  I had nine people staying in our house throughout the lockdown and managed to create ways for us all to live together happily including cooking, shopping and cleaning rotas as well as games evenings. 

What are your top three tips for navigating menopause?

Top three tips:

1. Learn what the symptoms are and don't be afraid to consult professionals for help to deal with them. 

2. Don't accept you're no longer useful, it's not true.  If you need to find a new purpose for this season of your life, do some googling or think of things you've always fancied trying and have a go. There are courses out there that can help you find your purpose too. 

3. Be kind to yourself.  It's difficult when life changes in a big way so find some enjoyable things to do.  Women are so often focused on caring for others but caring for yourself IS caring for others. You need to be okay to be able to support other people.

Relieves irritation of the skin 
Itchy Skin Oil


What are the best things that come with age?

The best things that come with age: Caring less about what other people think of you.  For me this was massive and so freeing.  Also, not feeling that I needed to be this slim, young thing - which I never had been anyway.  Being able to sell my family car and buy my Mustang! Becoming a grandmother - that was a surprise and we are delighted.

Has menopause impacted your relationship?

My husband has always been a bit long-suffering to be honest.  I've been quite firey and likely to be annoyed with him.  These days I'm much more likely to be forgiving or to recognise things from his point of view.  We are committed to a long and happy marriage and we are making plans for our future. 

Have you had long-lasting consequences of menopause?

Yes but they're all good.  I got a grip on my health issues over the past two or three years.  My diabetes is under control, my weight is going down, my non-alcoholic fatty liver disease numbers are good and my depression and anxiety are gone.  I'm in a good place mentally and I'm getting to a good place physically. Life is so much better now.

Explore the best skincare for menopause with MPlus.


Need a spritz best suited for skin undergoing menopause?