I don’t know about you, but going to the doctor with the menopause feels like taking part in a game of “Dip, doo, maga-zoo”. “It could be this, or it could be that? We’ll could try you on this, or we could try you on that…”
Honestly, for something that wiff affect the vast majority of women, it seems there’s very little help out there, which is why I’ve found myself turning to the internet, fellow bloggers and social media for help, advice and support.
Being menopausal can suck. Between hot flushes, mood swings, aches and pains, insomnia and anxiety (not to mention a drop in your sex drive), it’s fair to say it can be one of the most difficult time in a woman’s life.
But reading the experiences of other people and knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way has been a huge help.
It’s also given me the confidence to speak out more and discuss how the menopause is making me feel (although I must remember it might not necessarily be the best subject for small talk over canapés and fizz at a press event).
These are the sites I find myself turning to regularly when I need to know something, want to check something out or just want a giggle. I love the humour, honesty and style of all of these bloggers and professionals. I hope you do, too. Click on the title of each to visit.
If you’re after accurate, up-to-date information about the menopause, Dr Louise R Newson is the woman to see. She was a GP for 15 years, has written extensively on women’s health and is a member of the International Menopause Society and the British Menopause Society.
Reading her articles and also following her on Twitter has given me a wealth of information and because she has a medical background, I feel more prepared when I go see my own GP.
What I found really interesting is that she’s a doctor and even she had no idea of how bad the menopause could be when she went through it! It shows how little the menopause is understood.
My Second Spring is a stylish, easy-to-use site filled with advice, stories, information – and best of all, pictures of women menopausal age!
Aisling covers everything from symptoms to best lubricants for menopausal dryness, how to eat for the menopause to how to decorate your home, all with a light, friendly touch.
She also runs online events filled with experts, which is great for those of us who don’t live in huge metropolitan centres.
With more than 15 years’ worth of blog posts to her name, Lynette Shepherd certainly deserves the title Menopause Goddess. I don’t think there’s a topic she and her fellow Venuses have not covered – even how often you wee is on here.
She says the menopause turned her life “upside down” and I’m glad it did. The writing on here is honest and from the heart and feels as if you’re chatting to a friend.
More recently, she’s changed to focus on “the second act of our lives” rather than just the menopause. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes…
This is, for me, the gold star of menopause sites. It was founded by Diane Danzebrink, a psychotherapist, menopause expert and wellbeing consultant, because of her own experiences with the menopause, which began when she was 45/46.
She had a horrific time both prior and during the menopause and I can relate to so many of her symptoms. It took years for her to get the help she needed and that prompted her to help others. You can read her story here – and I defy anyone who reads it to say menopause isn’t a thing.
I love her because she’s a campaigner. It’s all very well talking and sharing, but if we don’t do something then it’s all for naught and we’re condemning the next generation to suffer as we did. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my nieces and great-nieces having to go through the worst of it.
Most recently, Diane’s been petitioning for better training for GPs and to expand menopause services throughout the UK. I’ve signed – I’d love it if you did, too. Just click here.
“I thought Mumsnet was a site filled with cookery recipes and women moaning about not being able to park outside their kid’s school,” said my menopausal friend the other week. “There is so much help on there.”
Often derided by people who tend to think just that, Mumsnet’s menopause forum has been an invaluable source of help.
Basically, with millions of women visiting Mumsnet every month, you’re more or less guaranteed to find someone who had the same question you have. And they’re not shy about discussing the ins and outs of menopause.
Together with various Facebook groups, it has been a brilliant source of laughter and support.
And the AIBU is always a good spot to while away a few hours…
What sites do you turn to for menopause help? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share these menopause sites with your friends.