The Menopause Charity will change millions of women's lives for the better.
We're here to support and empower women with evidence-based knowledge and help educate doctors about the perimenopause and menopause. We recognise that a holistic approach to wellness matters too.
We need your donations to kick off this much-needed project with a website which will bring this community of women and health professionals together for the first time to campaign for better menopause care.
Our charity website will be an essential guide to all things menopause, with accurate medical information on the huge range of symptoms and the safest hormone replacement therapy (HRT). We will also provide a professionally staffed helpline for menopausal women, and encourage independent research. We have no links to pharmaceutical companies.
Why we need The Menopause Charity now
- 20 per cent of menopausal women leave their jobs due to symptoms.
- 90 per cent of women experience menopausal symptoms but only 12 per cent get help in the form of HRT
- 66 per cent of menopausal women were offered anti-depressants instead of HRT in one survey, after complaining of low mood and anxiety.
- Health inequalities affect Black, Asian and low-income communities disproportionally in menopause, and the charity will aim for inclusion. Future plans include The Menopause Bus for outreach.
- The long-term health benefits of HRT include protection against heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia, and we need to get this message across.
- Many women are still being refused HRT by GPs. We want to provide expertise so women can access the safest HRT on the NHS, along with accurate explanations of benefits and risks.
The Menopause Charity Team
The founder of The Menopause Charity is respected menopause specialist Dr Louise Newson (Instagram @menopause_doctor), whose work has changed the menopause conversation in the UK and beyond. (Left, after a podcast with women's health campaigner Dr Nighat Arif.)
Our trustees (below from left) include Professor Matthew Cripps, Director of Covid-19 Behaviour Change Unit and Director of Sustainable Healthcare, who joins in a personal capacity; Vanessa Barnes, a solicitor with a masters in medical law and ethics; and Dr Radhika Vohra who also translates menopause advice and videos into Punjabi.
Our supporters (below from left) include menopause and wellness expert Liz Earle, television presenters Davina McCall and Lorraine Kelly, as well as Meg Mathews, author of the menopause book The New Hot, and campaigning journalists Lorraine Candy and Kate Muir.
Join our community. Become a founding donor now.
Embrace The Change!
One woman's experience
The Marketing Director and the Menopause - Marie Parry
Marie Parry, 52, is a marketing director for a group of five companies in Birmingham, and came close to walking out of her job in her late forties, not realising she was in perimenopause.
“I began to feel that there was something seriously wrong. I was becoming forgetful and I wasn’t sleeping very well. I went from being really capable to getting overwhelmed by the smallest things. I’d panic if I had to travel somewhere new, and the thought of standing up and doing a presentation would throw me into meltdown in case I experienced a hot flush or simply forgot what I was talking about. I was dragging myself through the days.”
Marie first experienced strange symptoms aged 46, when she still had periods, and went to her GP then. “Tightness in my chest, painful joints, pins and needles in my fingers and toes, a burning feeling on my palms and the soles of my feet, and a sensation of things crawling over my skin.” But the doctor she saw was male and new to the surgery. He asked her occupation and immediately diagnosed stress. “He gave me an inhaler for the tightness in my chest and offered anti-depressants, which I declined.”
After a couple of years of GP visits, further offers of anti-depressants, and pointless tests with a neurologist, Marie almost gave up. “I felt like I was living my life looking in from the outside and saw a person I did not recognise. I was on the verge of quitting my job, I avoided my family and friends and felt like all the joy had been sucked out of my life. My symptoms were now pretty constant, and I went to bed dreading waking up.”
Marie added: “At no point during any visits to my local GP did anyone say that this might be a result of the menopause.”
But then her company sent her for a well-woman check at the age of 50 with a female Bupa doctor. “I broke down and told her how awful I felt. She listened to me and then said the words ‘I think a lot of your symptoms could be a result of the menopause and it would be really beneficial for you to speak to someone about the possibility of HRT.’”
So Marie called her NHS surgery who said they “did not support HRT” and she was forced to go private. After getting the safest transdermal estrogen gel and progesterone pills, her symptoms just disappeared. “I got my life back! I was feeling upbeat and positive that I was going to manage this transition through what I now understand to be a common issue for many women my age.” But later she went back to a female NHS GP, and was given a lecture on the risks of HRT, refused a prescription, and told she should try anti-depressants again.
Marie is now lucky enough to get HRT privately, but she thinks that’s unfair when most women can’t afford it. “The NHS is a wonderful organisation and I am grateful to live in a country that provides this service. However, in helping women understand the menopause it is woefully inadequate and the information and support is not good enough.”
The experience has changed her, and she talks openly about the menopause to friends, colleagues and family.
“My husband and children refer to things as ‘before gel’ and ‘after gel’. It’s my family’s way of acknowledging for a while I was not myself and humour helps us normalise it. I talk openly about it at work and our HR department has introduced policies on supporting women suffering from the effects of the menopause. It is heart-breaking to hear women tell me if they had understood what was happening to them, and they had received some support, their marriages would not have broken down or they would not have walked away from jobs they loved.”
Marie believes the work that is being done to raise awareness and re-educate the medical profession and women themselves is vital. “I am truly grateful that I have been able to get the help I needed. I hope that someday that will be available to all women regardless of circumstance. Whilst I understand that HRT is not a miracle drug and cannot solve everything, it has enabled me to get back to finding joy in my life once again."
Donate now - Embrace The Change!
- The deadline for questions to be submitted in order to be answered during the webinar is by 9am Wednesday 14th October.
- The webinar will be released on World Menopause Day, Sunday 18th of October at 6pm.
- Further details of how to view the webinar will be emailed to those who have selected this reward closer to the time.