14 Things We Learnt From #BBCMenopause Week
Throughout this week, BBC Breakfast has hosted the first ever #BBCMenopause week, which has seen all kinds of menopause-related topics discussed on the breakfast sofa each day, allowing the nation to wake up to menopause.
From the subjects that have been talked about, it’s clear that this is something many need to do, from employers to the loved ones of women in menopause and even women themselves.
It’s been fantastic to see menopause discussed so openly, with the BBC shining a much-needed light on something every woman goes through. Here are just some of the things we’ve learnt thanks to #BBCMenopause week:
1. Menopause is Almost Like Another Puberty
Several of the women featured in the BBC reports likened menopause to a second puberty, due to the level of hormonal changes taking place in their body.
In contrast, young girls are taught about puberty in school, which raises the question of whether menopause should be taught from a similar age too. We think that would be a great move, allowing more women to be prepared and take the time to think about the different options available to them.
2. The Menovist Movement is Growing
On Twitter especially, a growing number of women are identifying themselves as ‘menovists’ - activists for menopause awareness. By talking about menopause openly and encouraging others to do the same, a positive, supportive community is being created online that’s trickling into real life too, improving menopause education along the way.
3. Menopause Can Begin at Any Age
Perimenopause symptoms typically begin when a woman is in her 40s, but some can find themselves dealing with menopause much earlier, often due to surgical menopause.
However, in the case of 15-year-old Annabelle who was featured in a #BBCMenopause report this week, menopause symptoms began from the age of 13. She is now left struggling with hot flushes on an almost daily basis and has been told she can’t have children.
Although early menopause at such a young age is rare, it can happen, so it’s been hugely important for BBC Breakfast to shine a light on this.
4. Men’s Awareness of Menopause Needs to Improve
Across social media, many men have been admitting that they weren’t prepared for their female partners going through menopause, and were often left bearing the brunt of mood swings, with their relationships suffering as a result.
By getting the nation to quite literally wake up to menopause all week, BBC Breakfast has helped men to improve their understanding of the subject, and learn where they can find further support for both themselves and their partners.
5. Some Men Can Experience Menopause Symptoms Too
There’s also been lots of men on Twitter pointing out that they can go through male menopause too. While this is often regarded as a myth, men can also undergo significant hormonal changes as they get older, which can trigger a range of symptoms. You can find our blog on male menopause here.
6. There are Lots of Different Ways to Say ‘Hot Flushes’
We’ve seen hot flushes referred to in all kinds of different ways over the course of this week, from ‘personal summers’ to ‘tropical moments’ and even ‘rainforest sweats’.
Whatever you choose to call them, you don’t have to put up with them. By taking natural supplements designed to rebalance your hormones in menopause, such as Femarelle® Recharge, you could experience a reduction in hot flushes, as well as other common menopause symptoms.
7. Viewers of All Ages are Welcoming Menopause Talk
#BBCMenopause week has attracted a huge amount of support from viewers of all ages, with lots of younger women praising the programme for bringing the topic to their attention much earlier than it would otherwise be.
At the same time, many women who are already going through the menopause have welcomed seeing that they are not alone, as there is often still some stigma surrounding the topic that can prevent women from talking about it openly.
8. More Workplaces Need Menopause Policies
BBC Breakfast featured a segment on coping with the menopause at work this week, highlighting how symptoms like brain fog can impact women at the peak of their careers.
Due to a lack of awareness and understanding regarding the menopause in many workplaces, employers don’t always know how to handle this, so there are calls for more companies to introduce formal menopause policies.
These could include factors such as flexible working hours for women experiencing difficulty sleeping due to menopause or more fans for those dealing with hot flushes.
9. Not Everyone Can Take HRT
HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, has been discussed a lot on the BBC Breakfast sofa this week, but lots of women have been taking to Twitter asking for alternative solutions as they are unable, or reluctant, to take it.
There are natural alternatives available, including menopause supplements like the Femarelle® range that we stock. These supplements include a derivative of soy called DT56a, which can mimic the effects of natural oestrogen, potentially helping with the management of a wide variety of symptoms.
10. HRT is Reportedly in Short Supply
What’s more, several Twitter users have reported that their usual HRT prescription is currently in short supply, leaving them without a solution for their symptoms.
Natural menopause supplements could be an effective alternative in this situation - women typically know within 4 weeks if Femarelle® is right for them.
11. Menopause Can Make You Question Your Sanity
Another consequence of menopause highlighted by several women throughout #BBCMenopause week was that it can make women question their sanity, especially if they weren’t expecting symptoms to begin just yet.
Alongside brain fog, many women reported increased feelings of anxiety around the time of menopause, with several revealing they felt as if they were going mad. This can be common during menopause, and it’s something else that rebalancing the hormones with the help of supplements could help to manage.
12. Pelvic Floor Exercises are a Must
Friday’s #BBCMenopause segment saw the importance of exercise in menopause for preventing the onset of osteoporosis discussed. Alongside weight-bearing exercises, pelvic floor exercises focusing on the Kegel muscles were demonstrated, as these become more important for women in the post-menopause stage.
13. It’s Not Compulsory for GPs to Have Menopause Training
Did you know it’s not compulsory for GPs to undergo training on the menopause? This is something that many menovists want to change, so that women are always able to get the advice they need the first time they bring up menopause with their doctor, without having to wait to be referred to a specialist.
14. Even Parliament is Waking Up to Menopause
Earlier this week, Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, congratulated BBC Breakfast on its menopause-focused week in the House of Commons, as she called on the government to take action to end the lingering taboo around menopause and ensure all women are able to access the support they need.
It’s been fantastic to see menopause discussed so openly and widely this week, and we hope this continues in the future.