“Health and Her …. Making menopause just that little bit more bearable

Monday saw the launch of “Health and Her,” a website dedicated to supporting women through the menopause, and what a breath of fresh air it is.

Monday saw the launch of “Health and Her,” a website dedicated to supporting women through the menopause, and what a breath of fresh air it is.

I say “fresh air,” as, not only are “Health and Her” providing much needed, easily accessible and straightforward support to women experiencing the menopause, but they are also stocking our fans!

While here at Fanny’s Your Aunt, we stumbled across the delights of hand-held fans while on a sunny summer holiday, it was only later that we realised how practically helpful they were to women, especially women experiencing the hormonal highs and lows of middle age. 

Whilst our fans appeal to women (and men), of all ages; middle-aged, menopausal women are always on our mind as, too often, when it comes to the menopause, their experiences are suffered in silence. 

Late last year we had a client who bought two fans for his wife, to add to her collection of fans scattered throughout the house, ready to provide instant relief from untimely hot flushes.  “Menopause for Men,” an article by Ruth Devlin on the “Health and Her” website, offers practical advice on how to support your partner through menopause.  Welcome and long overdue.

Each woman’s experience of menopause is different and the more we talk openly about it, the easier it will be to seek support and find solace in another’s experience.

I, for one, am on my own peri-menopausal rollercoaster but far from experiencing it with an empty nest or hormonal teenage children, as an older parent, I am frequently woken in the night by my six-year-old, with any hope of clawing back that sleep with an early night, curtailed by my ten-year-old with night-owl tendencies, needing to unwind from her long day at school.   

Older parents are much more commonplace today, but less common are conversations about how women who have children later in life can manage the symptoms of peri-menopause with a young family.  A few examples from my “older mother” treasure chest – joint aches – lifting children, bending down to be a “horse” my child wants to take for a ride; picking up toys – all particularly challenging when you have a hip, elbow and shoulder joint shouting out for sympathy.  Hot flushes – on more than one occasion I have abandoned my husband and children at the kitchen table to run around the house for a blast of cool air. Tiredness – waking in the early hours and unable to get back to sleep until 4 or 5 a.m., knowing that I need to be up by 6 a.m.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

I say “fresh air,” as, not only are “Health and Her” providing much needed, easily accessible and straightforward support to women experiencing the menopause, but they are also stocking our fans!

While here at Fanny’s Your Aunt, we stumbled across the delights of hand-held fans while on a sunny summer holiday, it was only later that we realised how practically helpful they were to women, especially women experiencing the hormonal highs and lows of middle age. 

Whilst our fans appeal to women (and men), of all ages; middle-aged, menopausal women are always on our mind as, too often, when it comes to the menopause, their experiences are suffered in silence. 

Late last year we had a client who bought two fans for his wife, to add to her collection of fans scattered throughout the house, ready to provide instant relief from untimely hot flushes.  “Menopause for Men,” an article by Ruth Devlin on the “Health and Her” website, offers practical advice on how to support your partner through menopause.  Welcome and long overdue.

Each woman’s experience of menopause is different and the more we talk openly about it, the easier it will be to seek support and find solace in another’s experience.

I, for one, am on my own peri-menopausal rollercoaster but far from experiencing it with an empty nest or hormonal teenage children, as an older parent, I am frequently woken in the night by my six-year-old, with any hope of clawing back that sleep with an early night, curtailed by my ten-year-old with night-owl tendencies, needing to unwind from her long day at school.   

Older parents are much more commonplace today, but less common are conversations about how women who have children later in life can manage the symptoms of peri-menopause with a young family.  A few examples from my “older mother” treasure chest – joint aches – lifting children, bending down to be a “horse” my child wants to take for a ride; picking up toys – all particularly challenging when you have a hip, elbow and shoulder joint shouting out for sympathy.  Hot flushes – on more than one occasion I have abandoned my husband and children at the kitchen table to run around the house for a blast of cool air. Tiredness – waking in the early hours and unable to get back to sleep until 4 or 5 a.m., knowing that I need to be up by 6 a.m.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

The hot flushes were manageable – through cutting back on alcohol and taking herbal supplements.  It was the sleep deprivation and joint aches which, as a physically active woman, challenged me sufficiently to seek advice from my GP about HRT.  

Impressively, my GP has menopause counsellor nurses and an appointment was (even more surprisingly), easy to come by.  I am now in the midst of my first three months of HRT .  It’s early days yet but I will keep you posted. 

But alongside the perils of peri-menopause are delights a-plenty.  A couple of weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger on the tube, didn’t think twice about it, something that would have made me turn a deeper shade of scarlet in my twenties; I delight in clothes – vintage, high-fashion, charity shop – it’s all an Aladdin’s cave to me and one which, until not so long ago, I used to play down as to be taken seriously for my brain, I couldn’t possibly admit to enjoying dressing up!  If a stranger pays me a compliment, I don’t make an excuse, I say thank you; if they are cheeky about it – I’ll give as good as I get; I know who I am and no longer feel the need to either apologise for it, or compromise.  That’s a whole load of anxiety middle age has liberated me from and I am loving it.

The menopause need not be an isolating experience and we, at Fannys Your Aunt, would like to support women in sharing their experiences so that we can perhaps, at the very least, learn from a wider community.  So, if you have any menopause experiences (or photos), you would like to share, we would love to hear from you.