Sophie Wessex health: Royal opens up about her ‘tricky’ menopause – key symptoms

Sophie Wessex health: Royal opens up about her ‘tricky’ menopause – key symptoms


Sophie Wessex: Nobody talks about periods or menopause

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, recently divulged her experience of going through the menopause and called for better education and support for women as they attempt to navigate the change. The Royal addressed the topic in a video call with Sarah Jane Cale, founder of the Positive Menopause website, an online resource for menopausal women.

Sophie described the disconnect that exists between going through the change and how society often perceives it.

“Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don’t have to have periods anymore – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle,” Sophie told Sarah.

“It’s described as something incredibly negative.

“One, yes, it’s an admittance of the fact that yes, we’re getting a bit older, we’re not as young as we were before, we’re not being, you know, to use the word ‘productive’, we are past that stage, and it’s quite a moment to admit it.”

The Countess highlighted the importance of improving education around the topic and supporting women who are going through it.

Sarah Jane pointed to statistics that highlight the work that still needs to be done to shift perceptions and provide greater support for women.

Approximately 13 million women in the workplace over the age of 40 consider leaving their jobs when they start to get symptoms.

Sophie is thought to be the first member of the Royal family to discuss their own experiences of the issue at length in public.

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How to tell you’re going through the menopause

The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

“Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether,” explains the NHS.

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms.

“Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities,” explains the NHS.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low mood or anxiety
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Problems with memory and concentration.

The NHS adds: “Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around four years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.”

When to see your GP

“If you start to have bleeding after you’ve reached the menopause (when you haven’t had a period for a year or more), see your GP,” advises Bupa.

According to the health body, many women get this, and there may be a simple explanation.

“For instance, the normal changes that happen to your vagina after menopause can cause bleeding.”

It continues: “But bleeding after the menopause can also be a symptom of certain cancers, including womb cancer, so your GP will want to rule this out.”

There are a range of treatments for menopausal symptoms available.

The NHS explains: “The main treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), although other treatments are also available for some of the symptoms.”

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