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Managing Menopause

Let’s break the stigma around menopause

Photo credit: @debbiclarkphotography

Meg Mathews

Pictured above: Menopause Campaigner and Founder of MegsMenopause

Despite all of the noise being made in the press and media about the menopause, it is still viewed as a huge taboo – almost a shameful subject.

Women are reluctant to speak to their employers, colleagues, family and friends about the menopause, thinking it will somehow put them in a bad light or make them miss out on a promotion.

The perception is that a menopausal woman will be viewed as an emotional, hormonal and erratic woman who simply cannot cope or be trusted.

Well-intended family and friends may also be dismissive just as they can be when you have PMT; you know how the comments go: “Oh… it’s that time of the month again!”

We need to break the stigma together

As an advocate for menopausal women everywhere, I am trying to break this stigma and taboo along with many other amazing women, doctors and healthcare professionals.

It worries me that, when I tell my story, visiting huge corporations and speaking on panels, some women are too embarrassed to identify themselves as being menopausal or perimenopausal in front of their colleagues.

The perception is that a menopausal woman will be viewed as an emotional, hormonal and erratic woman who simply cannot cope or be trusted.

This reminds me of the scarlet letter and this type of puritanical thinking that really, in this day and age, should be a thing of the past.

It’s ridiculous that we, women in modern society, should be made to feel this way! This is why I am fighting every day to make changes so that menopausal women are understood and that any shame surrounding the menopause is taken away.

The feeling of being understood

I speak out everywhere I go and my own traumatic menopause experience is the inspiration behind all the work I do.

When we open a discussion about the menopause, we are inundated with questions and appreciation from women of all walks of life, united by their experiences and just searching for support. Just being able to get their feelings or experiences off their chest has been cathartic for so many, including myself!

I have had CEOs, the gutsiest of businesswomen, in tears of relief at just having been finally understood! Being able to vent in a safe and comfortable forum where they feel they won’t be judged. This was my goal from the beginning and, every day, the more we push and fight, the closer we are to achieving this.

Power in numbers

We as women, need to unite, trust each other and have each other’s backs. In life, there is always power in numbers. As a menopause campaigner and advocate, I have found this to be true – we are a community.

I will continually fight until this subject becomes the norm. Menopausal women are not women past their prime, we are all beautiful, sexual, powerful, kick-ass women!

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