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The Peri-menopause? Why won't anyone talk about it?

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Simone Byrne Simone Byrne | 11:30 UK time, Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Alison Craig

Alison Craig

Journalist and broacaster, Alison Craig presents an episode of Medical Matters which deals with the subject of Peri-Menopause - she shares some of the hometruths below:

Avert your eyes boys this is not for you.


As women we talk about everything, EVERYTHING, well everything but this. Here goes.
The change. The peri-menopause. That 4 or 5 years leading up to the menopause.
Told you boys now off you go.

From your late 30 things can go a bit awry, irregular either non-stop rivers of Babylon
Or once in a blue moon. Sleeping goes to pot - my personal nadir and a thousand other symptoms can kick in. Hot flushes, mood swings, low sex drive, weight gain are a few of dozens of symptoms. So you go to the Dr. and they smirk and go ' och it's just the peri-menopause - JUST! Now hang on a minute sunshine... there is no 'JUST' about it.
And whilst we're at it what is the 'peri-menopause' anyway?

So with this in mind, the confusion, ignorance, lack of support I have
just completed a radio programme called Medical Matters which will be broadcast
on the BBC Radio Scotland this Wednesday, repeated on Sunday - but you will get it on the BBC iPlayer if you miss it.

Fascinating stuff. I talk to herbalist Dee Atkinson, specialists Dr. Heather Currie, Professor Mary Ann Lumsden and Dr Ailsa Gebbie and some women who have been there, got the t-shirt and survived the general hell of the whole thing.

It may be something you know all about. If so then you are in the minority.
If, like me you have 10000 questions about the whole thing then tune in. I can promise you lots of interesting facts, figures and information - and even a couple of laughs.
As ever the girls talking helps. It really does.

So this Wednesday BBC Radio Scotland 3.30pm Help is at hand. Or more accurately, ear.


  • Comment number 1.

    Alison - Is that Wednesday the 9th or Wednesday the 16th? According to my Radio Times Cathy MacDonald is doing the programme today.

  • Comment number 2.

    I was amazed to hear your speaker disparage the fact that her mother said that she "just sailed" through the menopause. In my late 40s when I realised I knew nothing about it I asked a friend who was 10 years older what it was like - and she said it was absolutely nothing. I asked an aunt as my only living female relative of an older generation - she said it was brillaint - no more periods, and a piece of cake. And my experience was exactly that - periods faded out (after years of nearly fainting every month) and, at 52 and no periods for 4 years life has never been better - I had about 6 hot flushes and that was that!! No reason to even browse the herbal medicines let alone go to a doctor! So some of us do just sail through it. Hurrah!

  • Comment number 3.

    That was so great to hear other women's experiences, it really is not talked about in any length and doctors do just poo poo it all. I've had a terrible time - so well done Alison, speaking about the unspeakable - makes me feel I am indeed a member of the human (female) race and not off my head.

  • Comment number 4.

    Thank you
    I thought this was a really well balanced review of the peri/menopause.
    30 minutes was not enough though. Perhaps you would consider a further programme with more case studies and further information about medical and non medical treatments.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thank you for that Alison. Interviewing can often be hardand cringe worthy , but you seem to make it so natural and easy. All my thoughts and concerns re peri menopausal were addressed and i feel so much more at ease entering this phase of my hormonal life cycle!

  • Comment number 6.

    Can I say how refreshing it was to listen to such an informative programme on what has been, up until now, a little talked about subject. Being in my mid, ok late, 40's, I refused to accept anything menopausal could possibly be happening to me. I now know a lot more about the peri menopause, and hopefully as a result of Alison's show, so will a lot of other women. I feel quite relieved to know I'm not the only one going through these symptoms!

  • Comment number 7.

    Soem boys did listen !!! The subject impacts everybody and if, as we do, you do talk about these things then any further info is great.

    One question : you talked about an organisation that provided advice and support. Can you give contact details here ?


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