Dr Katie Barber
GP Partner and Accredited Menopause Specialist,
Clinical Lead for Community Gynaecology Service, Oxfordshire and Private Menopause Specialist at Oxford Menopause
Watching your loved one going through the menopause is not easy, but your support and views on their experience can often encourage a woman to seek help.
Not only is Dr Katie Barber a practising GP with a special interest in women’s health and menopause, but she also runs her own private menopause company. Speaking to menopausal women on a daily basis, she often finds that the reason for a visit or phone call has been prompted by someone else. She says, “We forget that our loved ones love us and they want us to live the life we should. So when someone else notices a mood change, or an increase in forgetfulness, it’s often the trigger we need to seek help.”
Dr Barber explains that while the media and TV programmes have helped raise awareness among the general population of common menopausal symptoms, it often takes someone else for a patient to realise the severity of their condition.
She says “It’s never too late to ask for help, I see women from teenagers to 90-year olds with menopausal issues. Typically, there’s a false understanding that once periods have stopped you’re through the worst and don’t need help anymore. But for many women, symptoms continue to be intrusive for many years afterwards.”
It’s never too late to ask for help, I see women from teenagers to 90-year olds with menopausal issues.
There is good news in that many treatments are available for common menopausal symptoms such as hot sweats, brain fog, fatigue and lack of sex drive. Dr Barber adds, “If your condition is having a negative impact on your life, for whatever reason, then talk about the options you have with your GP or menopause specialist, especially if complex factors are involved.”
While a thorough medical assessment is always recommended, Dr Barber points to good resources such as Menopause Matters, Rock My Menopause and Women’s Health Concern as good sources of information online.