Let's Talk: Menopause

"So many don’t talk about menopause- they bury their head and suffer in silence": We report on women's experiences of menopause and recommend improvements to services in Milton Keynes.
Menopause report

In February 2022, Healthwatch Milton Keynes facilitated a conversation aimed at women who are going through perimenopause, who have had menopause or post menopause.

The purpose was to explore participants' experiences of menopause related services in Milton Keynes with a view to understanding how the menopause service provision and pathway could be improved. This conversation was was conducted in response to a consultation looking into women’s health issues and concerns that women had raised with us:

 

  • The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) launched a public consultation on a set of proposals to make Gina 10 microgram vaginal tablets (Estradiol) available from pharmacies, views were sought on making the first local vaginal Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) product available without need for prescription.
  • Public concern surrounding misleading news headlines suggesting that all forms of HRT would be made available to women over the counter in pharmacies.
  • The new Women’s Health Strategy due out this spring will use a framework for women’s health, based on a life course approach and six key themes: 1) Menstrual health and gynae conditions, 2) Fertility, pre- and post-natal support, 3) Menopause, 4) Healthy ageing and long term conditions, 5) Mental Health, 6) Health impacts of violence against women and girls.

Whilst the group focused primarily on participants’ experiences of menopause related services, there was, inevitably, some crossover in the themes that emerged from discussion touching upon women’s life course (fertility, menopause, mental health, menstrual health and gynae conditions). Where appropriate, this report therefore draws on the experiences of participants’ whole life journeys.

Following our discussion, women told us what support they would like to have available to them:

  • Create communities of learning and opportunities and space to share things as a group of women and to support each other.
  • To know where women can access information to better manage their transition Empower women not to see menopause as a ‘condition’.
  • Supporting women to have earlier awareness and access to information, advice, and community support sooner would mean they would feel more able to talk about it knowledgeably and to feel they had more control over their menopause journey.
  • Offer evidence-based complementary therapies not just medication Give women more information about their own body and autonomy over their own bodies More education about the whole lifecycle of women. Menopause information needs to be proactively given to women earlier in life, recognising that not all women will have a typical menopause journey

Downloads

Read the full report. 

Let's Talk: Women's experiences of menopause

Looking for information about health and care?

Find advice and information to help you stay well and make decisions about your health and social care support.

Find advice and information