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My Menopause Story

My name is Madhu and I am 53. I am a British Asian born and brought up in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and I now live in North London. I have been suffering with peri menopause (I have not even technically started menopause yet!), and my symptoms started 6 years ago and have been severe, to say the least. Here is a little bit about my menopause story: 

Life before menopause

I have been happily married for 26 years with 2 daughters who are now 20 and 24. My elder daughter went to university 6 years ago and my youngest was starting her GCSEs. My life was great where I had a wonderful work life balance. I started to socialise a lot more and spent more quality time together with my hubby. I was in a good place. Yet I did not know what was around the corner.

I have always been surrounded by females and I use to specifically hear about hot flushes and how awful this was, but I never heard females around me discuss the topic in depth, particularly within the Asian community. However, I have not only suffered from hot flushes but a whole lot more…

How peri menopause affected my life

I had been employed since 1990 in HR. For the last 13 years, I worked in a government department where I built relations with council and employers to help the unemployed return to work. I was in a demanding role with a lot of variety, where I thrived and absolutely loved it. There was never a day where I loathed going into work. I was loyal and fully committed. I thought as I had given the organisation 100% that I would always have their support when needed

As my symptoms got severe, I never really understood what was happening to me and just tried carrying on. I did not know it was menopausal symptoms. So how did I feel?

  • I felt I never got support, clear answers, or information on what to expect from my GP;
  • My periods became irregular and bleeding became heavy;
  • My energy levels were low;
  • I suffered with night sweats, which interrupted my sleep and made getting up for work difficult;
  • I suffered from insomnia regularly, leading to my concentration at work and home depleting;
  • I started to lack in confidence and suffer from low self-esteem at work;
  • I had a foggy brain, impeding my listening, note-taking and information retention.

Where I could previously multi-task, deal with multiple queries at once and have distractions, my anxiety increased and I could not cope.

Everyone who knew me assumed I would retire with this employer but I abruptly made the choice to resign in February 2016. No questions were asked. No support was provided. Looking back, a little support from them would have gone a long way in helping me manage my symptoms at work, but I resigned in a state scared of what exactly was happening to my body and mind.

From this experience, I started to consider how information and support for those suffering with menopause was lacking. Others must be feeling lonely and suffer with similar symptoms. That is when I decided that I wanted to assist those suffering with menopause. I wanted to set up a website with simple and accessible advice.

How did I get help?

Given the state of my mental and physical health, it has taken me 3 years to finally achieve my goal of helping others. But first I had to help myself!  How did I get here? Being persistent about getting help to overcome my menopausal symptoms, through:

  • Going to my GP and insisting I needed help;
  • Keeping a log of my symptoms enabling my GP  to tailor her advice accordingly before considering HRT;
  • Seeing a Menopause Consultant & gynaecologist- tried various HRT prescriptions until the right one fit;
  • Referring myself to a counsellor, which changed my mindset;
  • Researching menopause endlessly to determine how I could my change my lifestyle accordingly to overcome my symptoms;
  • Keeping a gratitude journal to appreciate what I had.

I believe no-one should feel alone. I believe menopause should not be a taboo subject. I believe access to information is a must and talking is the way forward. This is why I set up M for Menopause.