Many women begin the menopause without realising it. I know I did. Palpitations, hair loss, anxiety, aches in my joints – each a classic menopause symptom, if only I’d known it.
Over the last few years, just about each symptom has sent me to the GP, nervous and worried and increasingly stressed that I seemed to be seeing the doctor so much.
But until I was diagnosed as being peri-menopausal, all those visits were a waste of time for both me and the GP, who either sent me away for tests that showed nothing, a prescription that worked short-term or, in the case of hair loss, a flea in my ear. (Let’s not talk about the expense to the NHS, too, as well as my employer from time off to visit the doctor.)
This is why I joined forces with other menopause activists to found Pausitivity and the #KnowYourMenopause campaign.
It began one evening when I was back in the GPs’ surgery for a follow-up appointment for my HRT. I’d long tweeted about the lack of ready information about the menopause available when you go to the doctors. The first GP I saw about my menopause symptoms had to print me off several pages of advice during the consultation. Others directed me to websites to do my own research, leaving me to get lost in an internet maze of clicks.
This time, looking around at the posters on the wall for breastfeeding clinics, ante-natal clinics, the signs of stroke and heart attack and many, many more, I started getting very, very annoyed that there wasn’t one single piece of literature about menopause.
Surely, among all these posters, there could be just one about a condition that hits every woman? Just one to give women an inkling about why they were feeling moody or hot or achy? Just one to let the millions of peri and menopausal women know they weren’t alone?
And then it hit me.
If the NHS wouldn’t create a poster for us, why didn’t we create our own?
With that, KnowYourMenopause began.
We got in touch with the wonderful Allyson Shields of Shields Design, who I featured in Celebrating Women, to create a totally kick-ass poster. I think you’ll agree, it’s a powerful design guaranteed to help women as they start their menopause journey – especially if they don’t even know they’re on it.
Now we need your help…
How you can get involved
Pausitivity wants you to download (all you have to do is click on it) and print the poster and pin it up wherever it can be seen – and not just in places where women go. We want this poster to be seen anywhere and everywhere by anyone and everyone.
Where you could share the poster:
That trendy café down the road
Your desk at work
ANYWHERE (so long as it’s legal!)
- Also, share the message on social media under the hashtag #KnowYourMenopause. We’d love to see photos of you and the poster together – just like mine above.
Why is this important?
Around one-third of the UK’s female population are either peri or post-menopausal and it’s estimated that one in four of them will suffer debilitating symptoms that can last more than a decade.
At my Menopause Café, I was once again struck by how little we had known about menopause symptoms before we were hit. Yes, everyone knew about hot flushes – but not how bad they could be.
No one knew about other symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, aches and pains, heart palpitations, mood swings, vaginal dryness, depression, forgetfulness, loss of libido… And because of this, they went through needless anxiety and worry – as did their loved ones, who saw the woman in their lives change almost before their eyes (sorry Mr 50Sense).
How will the poster help women?
Seeing the KnowYourMenopause poster will not only help women understand what they’re going through, but it will also make them feel less alone and help break the taboo that surrounds menopause.
It’s not just helping the women going through the menopause now you’ll be making a difference to. By downloading and sharing our poster, you’ll be helping daughters, nieces, granddaughters, goddaughters, the woman in the office, the woman in the shop – every woman now and in the future.
And you’ll be showing support to those women going through an early menopause, either natural or surgical, many of whom say they get little or no help with how the menopause will affect them.
By downloading this poster, you are:
- empowering women to understand what is happening to their bodies;
- showing menopausal women they’re not alone;
- supporting women going through early menopause;se;
- breaking down the taboo around menopause;
- helping GPs diagnose menopause quicker, meaning women get help quicker,
- and saving the NHS money in wasted prescriptions, GP appointments and tests.
With your help, we can prevent other women from needless worry and suffering and that’s amazing.
Spread the word!
If you can think of a healthcare or women’s group that would like to get involved with KnowYourMenopause and help midlife women, spread the word and help us make some noise.
Like and share posts with the hashtag #KnowYourMenopause and follow the members of Pausitivity. We are:
our amazing designer @shieldsdesign20,
Please help us to help others #KnowYourMenopause.
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