Updated: May 13
Menopause really does matter to most of us. If we don't experience it ourselves, we will know someone who has or is going through the menopause. It's the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, new hurdles to overcome, new experiences to be had. For some there will be some noticeable changes going on, both in our physical bodies and our mental wellbeing. So grab yourself a cup of your favourite herbal tea and read on - I hope to be able to provide you with some useful tools to help guide you through what should be some of the best years of our lives. I'll be adding to this page as time goes by with anything new I discover.
While some of us will sail through the peri and menopause without batting an eyelid, others will experience some or all of the list below. This list not exhaustive.
If you are ticking a few of the boxes then you may be in the PM/M zone.
· Heart palpitations
· Hot flushes / night sweats
· Brain fog
· Irregular periods
· Painful sex / decreased libido
· Vaginal dryness / atrophy / prolapse
· Joint pain
· Weight gain
· Headaches / migraines
· Dry skin / itchy skin
· Hair loss
· Digestive issues
· Anxiety / mood swings / depression
Luckily we live in an age where more and more help is becoming available, and I would like to share some resources with you, many of which have been a huge help to me.
Local Specialist Help (Oxfordshire)
Consultant Gynaecologist and Urogynaecologist, Oxford
My personal angel and life saviour. I believe she is both an NHS and private practitioner.
Oxford Menopause Service, Women’s’ Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital
Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU
Phone- 01865 221546
Dr Sarah Ledingham
Nicole Tudor-Williams, Oxford
Apps & Websites
My Menopause Doctor - set up by Louise Newson, a GP and menopause specialist who holds an Advanced Menopause Specialist certificate with FSRH and the BMS. Full of essential information, blogs, flyers, medical evidence and much, much more.
Dr Louis Newson - The Doctor behind the above website, who runs this holistic health clinic for women going through the menopause.
Menopause Matters - it's not the title of this page for nothing! This is a brilliant website created by a Doctor in the UK, packed full of fabulous information, contacts, books and more.
Manage Menopause Naturally with Maryon Stewart.
Caria - Finally an app where you can track your menopause symptoms! Also packed full of information about the menopause, forums for open discussion and much, much more.
Balance Menopause app - simply superb! An app created by Dr Louise Newson, menopause specialist, this app gives more personalised advice to the individual.
Appreciating Windowsills - a game to help reduce anxiety, diverting your mind towards positive thoughts and a calendar to record 3 positive moments of each day.
Happiness Calendar - a free online calendar where you can do gratitude recording - make a note of 3 good things that have happened each day and give it a colour.
Buddhify - My favourite meditation app.
Calm - Another amazing, comprehensive meditation app.
Books & Podcasts
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause - an essential read.
The Essential Oils Hormone Solution by Dr Mariza Snyder.
My Menopausal Vagina - the author tells her story, a difficult journey through the least talked about side of the menopause. An education and conversation every woman should feel free to have with their friends, husbands, mothers, sisters and daughters. If you don't suffer, someone else might (be suffering in silence).
Essentially You Podcast - all about women's health and taking control to make positive changes.
Feel Better, Live More Podcast - Dr Chatterjee: "I want to empower you to become the architect of your own health. Because when you feel better, you live more." Wonderful, uplifting, informative.
Supportive, Fabulous Facebook Groups
W50 - a private Facebook group for women in and around their 50s, packed full of health tips, short bursts of both live and a database of essential exercises aimed at women in their 50s, talks from health experts from different sectors who are all specifically looking at helping women through this phase of life. A true investment in yourself! (Closed group).
Menohealth UK - loads of menopause related tips for menopause symptoms.
Vaginal Atrophy - related to the book in the list above, this is a supportive group for women going through similar experiences. (Closed group).
Visit my post on Peppermint essential oil for an easy to prepare "Hot Flush Spray" recipe to carry in your bag.
Essential Oils - I use oils from many different companies. There are so many out there now, apart from the big names like Tisserand and Neils Yard. If you are looking for other providers, just be sure to look for trusted companies, make sure the oils are 100% pure and unadulterated. My mantra is to buy organic where possible - I eat organic, so buy organic. They should arrive in dark glass bottles to keep the oils from oxidising, and have a safety data sheet and a use by date (essential oils do expire, once oxidised they can cause adverse skin reactions). Please get in touch if you'd like any help or advice. If you live locally let me know if you'd like me to add some oils to my next purchase and I'll drop them around for you when they arrive.
Essential Oil Safety - I trained with the Tisserand Institute and can absolutely recommend looking at their safety information. Robert Tisserand is renowned when it comes to research and safety of essential oils. An absolute must if you are considering making products at home for yourself and your family. Don't underestimate the power of these oils, they are hugely potent.
Base Products - Naissance is one of my go-to companies for base products. A great company with a great story. Cruelty free, certified organic, vegan products.
Beauty Despite Cancer - Jennifer Young specialises in training therapists to treat cancer patients, and has developed a skincare range specifically for anyone going through chemotherapy, radiotherapy or any other cancer treatment.
Natural Skincare - I'm as passionate about natural skincare as I am about taking care of our environment. I followed a free 5 day challenge with the School of Natural Skincare in 2020 and am hoping that you will be as interested as I am in this. Look out for their next challenge, it's well worth doing, only takes about a hew hours a day and will make you so much more aware of what you are putting on your skin, how to read the list of ingredients. Of particular interest to us ladies in our menopausal years is how taking care of our skin health can also assist our own body's defences, immune systems and hormonal balance.
Jo Divine - "Keep the runway open" ladies! Super important but hardly discussed as a symptom of the Menopause, but our pelvic health is as important now as ever! I understand that this website was originally set up by a nurse with personal experience of vaginal atrophy. We look after the skin on our faces, make it a plan to take care of your intimate bits too. Prevent leakage and prolapse by doing your Kegels / "Keep the runway open" with Dilators. Some items, tried and tested by two lovely ladies called Sam and Megan, offer video feedback at the bottom of the product page, helpful in clearing up any queries. Caution - contains intimate toys ;-)
Hot Flushes, Night Sweats, Sleeping
Cooling pillows - there are loads of different cooling pillows on the market. The Simba Hybrid pillow is just one of them (at the time of writing, voted one of the top in the UK - I have not tried it but the reviews are good). Or another option - search for cooling gel pillows, which can be laid on top of your current pillow to help keep the head cool. They can be quite hard so some research is necessary.
Night sweats - there are now many companies who sell nightclothes which apparently help to keep you cool and sweat free at night. Unforunately I didn't know they existed when I was having my night sweats in my mid-40's, but help is here! You just need to google "menopause pyjamas uk" and you will find many sites now advertising their nightware. Having done some research, some companies I have found (but not tried) include:
Sleep - there are several essential oils which help calm and relax the body and mind. Lavender is already widely known, Vetiver, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Petitgrain, Neroli to name just a few more. Purchase an essential oil diffuser (I have the Tisserand diffuser but there are loads on the market to choose from). Follow the instructions for your diffuser, and add about 6 drops of sleep promoting essential oils (you may need a few more drops depending on your room size). Switch the machine on and run it for 15-20 minutes before going to sleep at night. Great to do alongside meditation.
Coming soon: a CAM Aromatherapy hot flush spray exclusively for clients. Watch this space.
Not yet tried, but they are on my wish list ;-)
Adventure Yogi - yoga holidays and retreats in Oxfordshire and further afield
Amchara Health - health retreats in the UK and Malta
Pack those veggies, pulses, lentils, greens, seeds, wholegrains and all the goodness in the world into your diet ladies. I wanted to share my go-to apps and websites for delicious recipes, packed full of goodness and fibre-rich food. Mostly vegan/vegetarian recipes but if you are a meat/fish eater, a great way to pack veg into your diet alongside a piece of grilled meat or fish. A happy gut is a happy mind.
Finally, I'd like to share my Spotify walking playlist with you, to give you inspiration for those power walks which I'm sure you are all doing to keep your fitness up and ensure you have your daily dose of fresh air and vitamin D. Just be careful if you are listening to music while out and about, extra vigilance for traffic, bikes etc.
Thank you to friends who have been the inspiration for some of these links.
I would like to just mention that I am not taking monetary rewards for mentioning any of the above. Please note that I am not responsible for content on any of the third party links on this page.
Get in touch if you'd like to smell any of the oils in my collection, get help with creating your own blend, or have an Aromatherapy massage, hot stone treatment or holistic facial.