Dr Anne Connolly
GPwSI in Gynaecology,
Chair, Primary Care Women’s Health Forum
All women will experience menopausal symptoms in one way or another. Primary care is trying to ensure all get the help and support they need.
Dr Anne Connolly from Bradford is a GPSI Gynaecology and Chair of the Primary Care Women’s Health Forum. She believes that supporting women through menopause is simply part of the holistic life-course approach.
Not only is it about supporting women to keep fit and well during the menopause, but to enable that they can continue working and prevent the onset of future health conditions such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular issues.
Dr Connolly explains, “Women are now spending nearly half of their lives post-menopausally, so staying healthy really is a benefit to all. Tailored treatment and support is available for many illnesses such as cardiovascular disease – health professionals now need to apply the same reasoning to menopause care.”
Tailoring treatment and care plans
Dr Connolly explains that GPs support and empower patients to make personalised care plans, looking at the holistic needs including cultural, social and personal barriers created by the menopause which will point towards a more tailored treatment plan.
She explains, “Concerns about women’s health and menopause have been constantly undervalued, but a one size fits all approach doesn’t fit with the wellbeing of a woman. Not only is better access to education needed, but also regular treatment reviews as lifestyle changes and other factors become apparent.”
Empowering women to make the call to their GP is the most important thing we can do.
For Dr Connolly, it’s all about that initial consultation in primary care, she says, “Empowering women to make the call to their GP is the most important thing we can do. Often women feel that they are not important enough and they should simply tolerate their conditions but I know from experience that earlier interventions and chats about other aspects of mid-life are all great points to also discuss the menopause and potential treatments.”