Tag Archives: menopause

Sex and menopause – are you talking about it?

Are you talking about sex to your doctor? If sex is painful or you’ve lost interest, they can help – but you may have to make the first move. You might have a great relationship with your doctor but you might be too embarrassed to talk about problems you’re having when it comes to sex – and, your doctor might be too. As we know, sex can become an issue around the time of menopause. Sheryl Kingsburg, a clinical psychologist in the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Clinic at Cleveland Hospital in the US says lack of desire affects 1 in 10…

Can diet affect your thrush

Thrush: Can your diet make a difference? It may not be a pleasant thought but your body, inside and out, is literally teeming with billions of microorganisms – some good, some not so good. Some are bacteria and some are fungi. While they are in balance, there’s no issue, but when they get out of balance they can cause irritating conditions like thrush. Thrush can occur in a number of places including your mouth and vagina – and when it’s down there it can be very irritating indeed. Candida albicans is the fungus behind thrush. According to the Centers for…

make the most of your menopause appointment

How to make the most of your GP appointment if you want to discuss menopause?   You’ve only got ten minutes, so how do you make the most of it if you want to talk to your doctor about menopause? This is a question that’s kept Dr Carys Sonnenberg awake for many nights  – tossing and turning over how she can help her patients make the most of a short consultation so they can get the right treatment plan for them as fast as possible – and she’s come up with a plan. Dr Sonnenberg says if you think your…

The overactive bladder explained

Running to the toilet more than 7 times a day? Feel the need that you have to go right now? Find out why and what you can do about it.   Most of the time we don’t pay much attention to our bladder – it just does what it does – emptying a few times a day to rid the body of waste products it doesn’t need – but – when it goes wrong, we notice! One common problem many women face, especially as oestrogen levels drop, is a feeling that they have to keep racing to the loo far…

What your skin really needs with Dr Johanna Ward

Confused about what you need in you skincare regime? Dr Johanna Ward has the answers.   With so many brands and so much conflicting advice on what you ‘must have’ in a skin care regime it’s not surprising people are confused about what they should be doing to keep their skin in good health. Fortunately Dr Johanna Ward, a self-confessed skin care ‘geek’, GP, cosmetic doctor and founder of the skin care brand ZENii, is here to help. She has two main messages when it comes to skin care: keep it simple nourish your skin from the inside as well…

The brain, menopause and HRT- what do we know?

Menopause and the mind: experts explain what’s going on, if HRT relieves symptoms & if it could prevent dementia. How many times have you walked into the kitchen and found yourself wondering what you came in for, or struggled to find words only to end up saying: “you know, the thing-a-me-jig that what’s-his-name uses’? If you’re approaching menopause or are already on the other side (post menopausal), these may be frequent and distressing occurrences. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the menopausal brain. We often find concentrating is difficult and may feel we can…

Do you need Testosterone as part of your HRT?

Dr Juliet Balfour explains why testosterone is important for women – and can be the icing on the cake when it comes to HRT.   We often think of testosterone as a ‘male only’ hormone – but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s produced in our ovaries and adrenal glands and it’s often associated with our sex drive or libido level – but it does more than that – it can help regulate mood and support the health of our reproductive tissues and our bones. “We produce less of it than men,” says menopause doctor, Juliet Balfour from…

template MP letter

Below is a template draft that you are welcome to adapt to include your own experiences and send to your local MP. Don’t forget to put your full name and address with post code on it so your MP knows you are one of their constituents. You can find contact details for your MP by searching here: https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons Feel free to use the template below, cut and paste  or take inspiration from – as you see fit in your letter to your MP. Dear XXXX I’m contacting you about the upcoming Westminster Hall Private Members Bill initiated by Carolyn Harris …

Menopause, HRT and Breast Cancer

Consultant Gynaecologist Professor Isaac Manyonda answers some frequently asked questions on menopause, HRT and breast cancer. Q: Is HRT safe? A: “There’s no doubt that the one thing what worries women when it comes to HRT is the Big C, breast cancer. When it comes to the WHI studies which were published in 2002-3, the main focus was on breast cancer and sadly there was a lot of confusion about it. “If you take 1000 women and follow them up for 5 years, 23 who are not taking HRT will get breast cancer, so it’s quite common. But if you…

HRT and Breast Cancer: what you need to know

The mere mention of HRT can spark fears of breast cancer, but should it? Breast surgeon Professor Zoe Winters and Consultant Gynacologist Jeannie Yoon set the record straight.   Navigating the Menopause can be a huge challenge for many women. It can be a strange and isolating time for some as despite being well informed, there remains a taboo about acknowledging it and discussing it openly.  Approximately 95% of women will go through the Menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 years with an average age of 51 years. The symptoms can range from minor to debilitating and include…

Progesterone -what you need to know about this hormone and menopause

Confused about how to use progesterone or you don’t tolerate it well? Dr Juliet Balfour explains your options. If you have a uterus you need progesterone as part of your HRT. It is vital for controlling the thickness of the endometrium or lining of the womb. By stopping it from becoming too thick it reduces our risk of endometrial or womb cancer. Dr Juliet Balfour, a menopause GP from Somerset says progesterone is produced by our ovaries and in our fertile years its job is to prepare the womb for pregnancy. If we don’t get pregnant the levels drop and…

The age of invisibility

It’s said we disappear as we age. Writer Jane Chelliah examines some of the reasons why and what we can do about it. The invisibility of being an older woman is something I am fighting against. I have reached that stage in life to my horror. My voice has become louder, and I keep thinking ‘mutton’ when I choose new outfits. I am reluctant to say ‘I have reached that ‘age’ because the cloak of invisibility is not always age oriented. I would opine that it is more a subjective experience which can strike women in ‘midlife’, defined as women…

How menopause affects your skin, hair and nails

How does menopause affect your skin, hair and nails? Dr Naomi Potter explains what it does and what can help. Menopause is so much more than hot flushes and night sweats. There are more than 40 symptoms that signal declining oestrogen levels, and many affect our skin, hair and nails. As skin is the body’s largest organ it plays an important role in keeping us healthy, so it’s vital that we keep it in good condition. Here Harley Street Emporium’s Dr Naomi Potter, a London-based GP with a special interest in menopause, runs through some of the common skin symptoms she…

The M Diet by Dietitian Nigel Denby

Dietitian Nigel Denby unveils his evidence-based diet for menopausal women – the M Diet. Most people relax in the bath on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but recently dietitian Nigel Denby found himself growing ever more angry as he scrolled through the seemingly endless diet advice being given to menopausal women on social media. From his frustration his new menopause diet was born. “Menopausal women have had so much crap information thrown at them and I thought I’m not going to have this anymore. I’m going to take the evidence-based approach I know and have developed over 25 years, and I…

What to do when your GP says ‘No’ to HRT

Women are often given a range of reasons why they can’t have HRT, but are they correct? Dr Naomi Potter sets the record straight.   ‘Too old’, ‘too young’, ‘you have migraines’, ‘you’ve had a clot’ – these are just some of the reason women are given by their doctor as justification for not prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat menopause symptoms. Many women may sail through menopause with barely a symptom, but for others they can be debilitating. Yet, 44% of respondents to a poll by Harley Street Emporium said they had been turned away when they had…

Menopause and Mental Health – The Forgotten Symptoms

Menopause’s hidden symptoms – anxiety, depression, brain fog and a low sex drive affect more women than hot flushes. When you think of menopause symptoms the first things that usually come to mind are red-faced women, drenched in sweat as they suffer yet another hot flush or night sweat, but a recent survey shows that mood, mental health and brain function symptoms could be affecting more women than these vasomotor symptoms. Some 60% of respondents to a survey of 100 perimenopausal and post menopausal women conducted by Harley Street Emporium said hot flushes and night sweats were an issue for…

18 years after the WHI study whats to celebrate

Happy 18th! The WHI study on HRT has come of age. But should we be celebrating? Some doctors argue the effects of this study have cost a generation of women their long term health.   You may remember waking up 18 years ago to headlines emblazoned across newspapers proclaiming hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increased the risk of developing breast cancer. If you were about to take your morning dose, you could easily be forgiven for spitting it out and then flushing it and the rest of the packet down the loo. And you wouldn’t have been alone. The story was…

Me and My Menopausal Vagina – Jane Lewis on Vaginal Atrophy

Can’t walk, can’t sit, can’t have sex – welcome to the debilitating world of vaginal atrophy. Author Jane Lewis knows it well and explains what it is and how you can get through it. Our Vaginas go through a lot – childbirth, periods, infections… but with menopause you’d finally start to think they were going to get a break – but hell no! In the lead up to menopause (when our periods finish), and beyond it, our oestrogen levels decline and our vaginas start to ‘atrophy’. What that means is the vagina shortens and the walls become thinner and less…

HRT – from bones to your brain – what can it help

Menopause, bones and sex – how HRT could help. Dr Sarah Ball explains.   Dr Sarah Ball is a GP with a special interest in Menopause who works with Newson Health. Here she explains how HRT could benefit women in a myriad of different ways. You can see the original interview here. Brittle bones Bone density and the risk of scanning? After menopause our bone density decreases. This puts us at an increased risk of fractures which can in turn lead to decreased mobility and independence and a decline in health. A scan, known as a DEXA scan, can determine…

Rebranding HRT-is it time we changed the way we think about it?

Is it time we changed the way we think about HRT? Some doctors argue menopause needs a rebranding so we no longer think of HRT as the treatment of last resort. Many women talk about HRT in terms of  ‘struggling on,’ ‘braving it out’ and ‘not succumbing’ by taking it because it’s ‘not natural’ – but is that correct? Dr Sarah Ball, a GP with a special interest in the menopause says it is time menopause was rebranded as a ‘chronic hormone deficiency’ rather than accepting it as natural part of getting older, and that HRT was seen as a…

Can diet help relieve your menopause symptoms

Can your diet help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause? Dietitian Sophie Medlin gives her top tips on what works and what may not. Can Phytoestrogens help with menopause symptoms? Phytoestrogens are compounds that occur naturally in plants and foods including fruits, veggies, legumes, and some grains. Soy is a popular source. They are said to mimic oestrogen and may be helpful for hot flushes, mood swings and painful breasts. But is there good evidence to back that up? “There is some data around phytoestrogens that some people find helpful,” Sophie says. “Again it’s not everybody and the data…

The Gut Brain Axis and Probiotics

Could eating probiotics help your mood or control your weight? Dietitian Sophie Medlin explains what the research shows now. It’s an emerging area of research but the links between the gut and its microbiome and our brain is starting to be established. It’s known as the gut-brain-axis and it involves the role probiotics (the good bacteria in our gut) could play in helping with mood and weight control. And there may also be benefits for immunity and perhaps even longevity. But first, what are Probiotics? According to London-based dietitian, Sophie Medlin, probiotics are the live bacteria and by law must…

Menopause Myths and Misconceptions

Menopause and HRT: myths and misconceptions.   There are about as many myths and misconceptions surrounding HRT as there are symptoms of menopause. Here gynaecologist Vikram Talaulikar runs through some of the most common ones.   Q. HRT will make me fat “That’s definitely a myth. I’ve seen many women on HRT go both ways. I’ve seen women starting HRT who’ve put it on and just as many who’ve lost weight or seen no changes. It’s very individual. From the studies we know that it doesn’t make you put on weight but what it can do in the first few…

Premature menopause symptoms and management options

Premature menopause: What are the signs and the treatment options? Premature and early menopause can have a devastating effect on women and their families. Here, Gynaecologist Vikram Talaulikar from The Menopause Clinic London, talks us through the signs to look out for and the treatment options for symptom relief and fertility available to women.   Fact file: Menopause is the cessation of periods Premature menopause or Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) is menopause that occurs under the age of 40 and it affect 1-3% of women Early menopause is menopause that occurs under the age of 45 and it affects between…

Could Oestrogen Help Protect Women Against The Coronavirus?

Is oestrogen helping protecting women against Coronavirus?   There’s a lot of talk in the media about women being better protected against the coronavirus than men. Depending on which country you look at the death rate among men is two to three times higher and the big question is why? The reasons put forward include genes, oestrogen and lifestyle. So, what do we know about these so far? Oestrogen Let’s take Oestrogen first. We know oestrogen plays a protective role in many aspects of women’s health. It is part of the reason women have a lower rate of heart disease…

Could it be menopause: take the quiz and find out

Could it be menopause? Take the quiz to find out – and see what your treatment options are.   It’s not just all hot sweats and mood swings when it comes to menopause. Changes in body odour, brittle nails and dry eyes can also be signs that your oestrogen levels are in decline. Getting the right help is what matters! There are more than 30 symptoms of menopause which may affect virtually every part of your body from your skin, hair and nail to you brain and vaginal health. So how do you know if what you’re experiencing is a…

The Impact of Menopause at Work

Is Menopause affecting your ability to work? If so, you’re not alone. For the first time the impact has been quantified & the results don’t paint a pretty picture. It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to many women, but Menopause and work don’t mix well. According to a survey of more than 1100 women, one in ten have left their jobs because of their symptoms, and a staggering 90% say they believe it had had a negative affect on their work. Menopause Doctor, Louse Newson and her colleague Dr Rebecca Lewis at the Newson Health Menopause & Wellbeing…

Losing hair and menopause

Hair loss and the Menopause. Scalp Confidential’s Kelli Morrell explain the treatment options. Hair loss isn’t always first on the list of  seemingly never ending list of Menopause symptoms and because of that many women don’t realise that their thinning hair is associated with their declining oestrogen levels. We see many women over the age of forty in the Scalp Confidential clinics with changes in hair quality or hair loss. Often they are either peri menopausal or post menopausal and many are traumatised over losing their hair, but had not connected the two. A woman’s hair is a big part…

Cancer treatments and menopause; are you getting the info you need?

System failure: women with cancer aren’t being told about the effect treatments can have on their sex lives   Having breast cancer is undoubtedly a lot to deal with, but the aftermath of can be hell as well. And it seems we are failing women miserably. Research carried out by the charity Breast Cancer Now shows that more than three-quarters of women with breast cancer are not being warned about the impact treatments could have on their sex lives – and that means they aren’t getting the advice they need that could help them. The survey of more than 1000…

How much do men know about menopause

How much do men know about menopause? Not much, a new study reveals.   What do shoplifting and craziness have in common? They’re symptoms of menopause, according to some men who took part in a study to find out just  how much men know about the topic. The study found that in general men were clueless, with 70% of them unable to name more than one of the 34 recognised symptoms. The study, by menopause brand Pelviva, asked 500 men aged between 45-54 – the average age range at which women start to exhibit symptoms and go through menopause- to…

Labial fillers

Can fillers injected into the labia or vaginal wall help with vaginal dryness, laxity, and improve sex? Dr Sherif Wakil explains how they work We get a number of calls from women asking about fillers for their labia or G-spot, so we’ve asked Dr Sherif Wakil, founder of the Dr SW Clinics which specialise in sexual aesthetics to run through what these treatments do and who can benefit. Dr Wakil says there are two main reasons why women may choose to have fillers injected into their external the internal genitalia – one is an aesthetic benefit and the other is…

Dr Shahzadi Harper – a midlife journey

Dr Shahzadi Harper explain why menopause and midlife is not ‘the end’, but a new beginning. I run the Harper Clinic in London, working as a menopause doctor. The Harper Clinic takes a holistic approach to menopause and the well being of women – it enables me to fulfil my passion for promoting positivity for women. I’m convinced I owe a large part my drive and ambition to my mother’s influence, watching her go through her menopause, combined with my time practicing as a GP in Oxford, I often felt ill-equipped to help women who came into the practice in…

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Could it be menopause? With so many symptoms it’s easy to see why it’s often misdiagnosed. If you have a quick look at menopause sites on social media it wont take long to find a plethora of women who say their GP has told them they’re too young to be menopausal, put them on anti-depressants or sent them off on a merry-go-round of investigative procedures to try and find the cause of their malaise. The experience leaves many asking how hard can it be to diagnose menopause? Well, there is a long list of symptoms – many of which may…

HRT Studies and Safety Issues Explained

 Health experts label HRT risk study reporting ‘Irresponsible’. But, should we still be worried?   It seems that every month or so a new study emerges that looks at the risks posed by HRT. It gets reported in the media and women are once again plunged into confusion about whether they should start or continue taking HRT. But many doctors are not impressed claiming the way these studies are reported in the press is ‘irresponsible’ and ‘scaremongering’ with headlines such as ‘Breast cancer risk from using HRT is ‘twice what was thought’ appearing in national newspapers. The study that prompted…

Femilift

What is Femilift?   Femilift is a non-surgical CO2 fractional laser treatment for various common feminine issues, such as  Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), vaginal laxity, vaginal dryness, recurring vaginal and urinary infections – what is generally referred to as the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause or GSM. It helps alleviate these symptoms whether they were caused by menopause, hormone deficiency related to cancer therapy or childbirth and aging.   How does it work? Vaginal tissue is made up of collagen fibres which give it strength and flexibility – just like the skin on your face or the rest of your body,.…

Oils, lubes and your dry vagina: what really helps?

It might be ‘natural’ but should you use cooking oils to soothe your dry vagina? Women’s Health GP, Dr Shahzadi Harper finds out.   These days there is a plethora of internet sites targeting menopausal women offering a variety of ‘natural’ solutions for the symptoms of menopause – and one of the most prevalent of those although it’s rarely spoken about is vaginal dryness. A dry vagina is an uncomfortable menopause symptom but something that can be hard to pin point as it can present in many ways. It can cause an itching and burning sensation that can make it…

Dr Shahzadi Harper

Dr Shahzadi Harper is a dynamic GP with an interest in optimising women’s health and wellbeing, especially during the difficult periods of hormonal changes such as perimenopause and menopause. Taking a holistic and positive approach to women’s wellbeing and the menopause, she works to empower women of all backgrounds and ethnicities by giving them the information they need to make informed choices on hormonal treatments for their optimal health and longevity – so they can continue to look and feel their best. She understands the symptoms and concerns that women face in these times as she herself is one of…

Menopause – What is GSM?

What is GSM and what can help?  This probably isn’t the best way to start a conversation, but do you have an itchy, dry vagina? Do you have more frequent urinary tract infections or thrush-like symptoms more often? Do you pee when you sneeze, laugh or jump? Or has sex become painful? If you’re heading toward menopause, or are menopausal, and you answer yes to any of these questions, there’s a chance you have what is now called GSM – or Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. The term has actually been around since 2014. Previously it was called either vulvovaginal atrophy…