Time & Leisure hosted a sell-out menopause event in November. With over 40 women, a goody bag stuffed full of menopause products and a host of laughter, here’s what we learned…
The menopause and perimenopause are a daunting time for many – no wonder when there are so many myths and misconceptions. But increasingly, women are seeing it as a new chapter in their lives, and embracing this time as their ‘new spring’. In our October edition we published an article Reframing the Menopause, offering practical advice and open up the conversation. Our event was a chance to continue this and ask the experts in person,
We were delighted to welcome a host of women to our menopause event, held at Gina Conway Salon in Wimbledon. Our guest speaker was Dr Naomi Potter, co-author of ‘Menopausing’ with Davina McCall and founder of the Menopause Care clinics. T&L’s publisher Lucy Kane hosted an in conversation with Naomi, asking questions to blow away the myths and reveal the options open to women.
We also heard from hair nutrition experts Glowwa, who talked about the useful supplements for menopause, and Gina and her team advised women on their mid-life hair concerns such as thinning, colour changes and frizz.
Guests enjoyed healthy canapes from Everyday Healthy Cooking, which runs cooking and nutrition classes, and a glass of delicious sparkling wine from the Surrey Hills (support local!). They left with goodies bags with products designed to help with menopause from Legology, Tisserand Aromatherapy, Glowwa and Mola CBD drinks.
Key takeaways from our menopause event
HRT is the gold standard
But it is not for everyone and won’t cure everything. There’s a whole toolkit at our disposal, including herbal medicines, reflexology, acupuncture, cognitive behaviour therapy, and lifestyle changes.
HRT can be complex
It is not simply a case of popping a pill. There are many preparations, including gels, sprays and patches, and it may take trial and error to find a regime that suits you. For example, some women find that oestrogen gives them a boost, progestogen
makes them sleepy.
Fears over breast cancer and HRT
The scare stories of HRT causing breast cancer was based on flawed data. The risk is small. Increasing oestrogen levels in tissues that are younger is actually better so don’t feel you need to wait to take HRT.
You can’t really test for the menopause
You have reached menopause when you have gone 12 months without a period. Perimenopause can last for years before that and your menopausal symptoms some time after. Testing hormone levels can be complex and only provides a snapshot in time. If you are over 45 and have typical symptoms you don’t need tests before starting HRT but if symptoms are suggestive of something else it would be investigated.
When should you come off HRT?
We don’t have safety data for people who have taken HRT for 30 or 40 years. But we do know it makes people feel better, protects against osteoporosis and can protect heart health. We’re likely to see an increasing number of women of this generation who stay on it forever. You can lower your dose gradually and see how it impacts your symptoms.
This is your second spring
The symptoms, of which there are countless, from hot flushes and low libido right through to anxiety and terrible brain fog, can be debilitating but there is so much at our disposal to help. And it can also be a positive time, having shaken off the worries that plagued us in our 20s and 30s, we can really own this.
Thanks to Gina Conway Salon and Spa for hosting, Deborah Albert for the great photographs. I
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