Navigating the menopause: a perspective
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Kerry has been within the media industry for in excess of 30 years, with her latest role being Managing Partner - Group Investment at Mediacom Manchester. Progressing up the ranks in various job roles and touching many female lives along the way.
Kerry epitomises an inspirational and kind hearted female leader and has been a great support too many young women (and men) within the industry. In honour of menopause awareness week and following on from our 'let's talk about it' event, Kerry has opened up about her experience of dealing with the menopause. An area which she is extremely passionate about.
As someone who has largely been in control of all aspects of my life, I naively I thought that I would sail through the peri/menopause. In Dec 2020 I had a well woman consultation with a gynaecologist who was encouraging me to consider starting HRT. How ridiculous I thought, I don’t need that, this is just the NHS trying to push unnecessary medication onto me to gain profit.
As we entered 2021, I felt like the rug had been whipped from beneath me. I lost my confidence, could not remember basic words, fumbled through presentations which then caused anxiety and a real case of imposter syndrome. I was overwhelmed by basic tasks, would cry uncontrollably and just couldn’t be arsed doing anything or seeing anyone. More worryingly, I was so ill after a couple of drinks that I stopped wanting to socialise. Convincing myself that people, including close friends would think I was boring and no longer any fun to be around.
"I felt so uninformed and critical of my lack of knowledge of the basic function of the human body and the importance of healthy hormones, especially replacing depleted oestrogen."
The timing of this wasn't great with us being in lockdown, so my close friends forced me to to get an e-consultation and a prescription for a combi patch. This was prescribed (without any face to face consultation or health check.) Some days I would feel better and other days just didn’t want to get out of bed. I started to research the information around the Menopause, publicised by Davina McCall and the menopause doctor. I felt so uninformed and critical of my lack of knowledge of the basic function of the human body and the importance of healthy hormones, especially replacing depleted oestrogen.
After 6 months some symptoms improved but unfortunately others got worse. I had so many questions around the dosage, the application and health concerns that I didn't feel I was able to answer. The biggest frustration and still is to this day, the GPs couldn't seem to answer these questions either! The lack of GP knowledge and a tendency to prescribe a generic solution to all is quite frightening. I have had to have what I can only describe as tantrums with the doctors, still only to feel that they haven’t got the time nor the knowledge to offer the support that women need in this situation.
"Fortunately, the menopause is no longer a taboo subject and I have been able to speak openly about my feelings and consequent actions to friends, family and colleagues."
20 months on, I have resorted to seeing a private gynaecologist. I have had to fund this myself as my health insurance doesn’t cover menopause. I finally feel that I been given some good advice and explanations. Albeit, I am still testing different dosages and applications. With better advice and the right medication I am more able to take each day as it comes.
Fortunately, the menopause is no longer a taboo subject and I have been able to speak openly about my feelings and consequent actions to friends, family and colleagues. I felt I needed to prepare them for any sudden outburst! MediaCom, in particular Holly (People Partner) and Nicola (MD) who spoke at the Bloom event, are extremely supportive. I have to say our Menopause policy is fantastic.
On reflection my advice to anyone who is going through this transition of life is to encourage them to speak about their feelings, follow menopause_doctor on insta to arm yourself with knowledge in the area and empower yourself to challenge the advice given by your doctor.