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The SHEWORD Episode 8 | Women and Menopause

The SHEWORD Episode 8 | Women and Menopause

In today’s episode of the SHE Word, we’re tackling the topic of women and menopause. For this important conversation, Trudy Kerr is joined by Moira Delia, Corrine Muscat, and Mariella Dimech 

 

Today’s discussion is particularly important for Trudy because she claims that it is one of the reasons that she started doing this show in the first place. With her on the podcast today, she is joined by three firecracker guests: Moira Delia, a TV personality, presenter, producer, and animal rights campaigner, Corrine Muscat, a Radio DJ, presenter and voice-over artist, and Mariella Dimech, a TV presenter, psychologist and a therapist.  

Menopause is something that affects/will affect every woman on the planet, yet it is one of the most unspoken topics. Trudy starts off this discussion by asking every woman on the podcast to explain where they are on their menopause journey.  

‘Unfortunately, we all have to go through this’, says Moira. ‘And yet, we hardly ever hear or educate ourselves about the subject. I had a very early menopause and I believe this was so because I was undergoing a lot of stress in my life. I was around 45-46 years old when I started menopause. People are shocked as soon as you say you’re going through menopause. I had very aggressive symptoms – hot sweats, fatigue, and bad moods which led to a lack of patience with people. I had to tackle my symptoms before it was too late. Now I’m 51 and, I can happily say that it’s all under control’.  

Corrine is going through a perimenopause phase at the moment. ‘I had no idea that this phase existed. It’s basically a phase before starting a full menopause. I went to my doctor complaining about fatigue and body aches. Then, I started experiencing night sweats. Women need to be prepared for this’.  

Mariella, now 58 years old, claims that her menopause journey was tough for many reasons. ‘I think that we do learn about menopause in the background through our mothers. However, the lifestyle of women is different now. My life was and still is, very busy. When I started experiencing menopause symptoms, I had kids and a full-time job at my clinic while I was also presenting a program. However, you are still expected to function. It’s like PMS-ing all the time but multiplied by 200! You cannot brush it off – it’s very frustrating. Everything is changing in your body. Although your brain wants to live a good life, the truth is, you begin to realise that you’re changing and it’s very hard to accept that. Some people can be very supportive, but some people cannot empathise’.  

Trudy reveals that 73% of women never treat their menopause symptoms at all. Although everyone is affected in a different way, Trudy asks a very important question. How do you treat menopause?  

Mariella explains that she is on HRT. ‘Be very careful of medication. Doctors tend to immediately prescribe antidepressants. Sometimes people do need to take medication, but you need to look at all your options. Get all the information, then you can make the decision. When I started HRT, within 3-4 days, I was back to being grounded and felt 30 years old. It was all hormones and with HRT they began balancing out. In the last year, I started taking a lower dose. What I do suggest is that if you take HRT, you still need to support yourself and recognise that you are changing’.  

Moira insists that it’s important to get your doctor to do a hormone profile. ‘It’s just a simple blood test. I was into the natural approach, and I was trying to avoid anything to do with HRT. However, I could not go totally natural. My body responded with Femarelle. You need to discover what your body needs. We cannot all take the same thing. It took a long while to find the right medication but I’m happy to say that I’m living a normal life today’.  

Menopause has a massive range of symptoms, but which is the worst symptom for you, asks Trudy.   

Corrine reveals that it is the brain fog for her. ‘I found myself continuously trying to explain myself on air when I couldn’t remember details of bands and songs. It’s hard to deal with that’.  

Moira agrees and says that although she’s an old-school TV host, trying to memorise everything, it’s not as easy as it once was!   

Mariella says that the hardest symptom that she had to go through was her mood change. ‘I have a big positive drive as a person – I always find a positive and meaningful way of looking at things. It became very worrying for me when I woke up and my hormones were affecting my mood. Quality of life depends on if your mind is in the right place and for me, this was very important to address’. 

Since Mariella was into psychology, she knew exactly what was coming with menopause and she was very aware of what she was going through. She was aware of her mood changes and perspectives, and how she viewed herself. However, Moira was simply one of those people who thought that menopause will just skim over her and miss her, as well as Trudy! Corrine was not prepared to experience perimenopause. However, once her doctor made her aware, she began reading about her condition and this made her feel more in control.  

Trudy asks a very thought-provoking question. If this is something that affects so many people, why are there not more conversations about it?  

Mariella blames this on the fact that it is because it is not affecting all the population…it’s just women and women have learnt to get on with it. The same goes for periods…women suffer every month, but we’re used to it, so we get on with it.   

However, having this conversation I surely empowering.  

‘I think women do talk about it’, says Mariella. ‘However, it’s always in the negative sense and then we move on. There isn’t this in-depth discussion about it like we’re having today. I also would like to see men getting better educated about the topic’.  

Speaking about men and partners, Trudy asks Moira how to get your partner on board with menopause and the changes that the body experiences.  

‘We spend a lot of time together and he noticed the change, even with my energy levels. However, it worked for him because he’s a lot calmer than me. He was happy that I relaxed a little bit and slowed down! He embraced all this change. However, sexual drive changes as well in this phase. We discussed it and it made us closer’. 

Having a husband who is ten years younger than her, Mariella did feel slightly embarrassed about her menopause symptoms in the beginning.  

‘However, I learnt to deal with it in a very therapeutic way. I started running half marathons and training for ‘The Grid’. I’ve always been a sportive person but doing these challenges helped me a lot’. 

Corrine claims that she is super comfortable saying that she’s going through perimenopause. ‘I had to get comfortable with it because I had to communicate with my personal trainer and explain to him that sometimes I needed a longer recovery time after certain workouts. I went from breezing through workouts to having an aching body and feeling like a 90-year-old woman in the evening. My energy levels dipped so much!’ 

Trudy envisions that this topic merits another discussion in the very near future. However, to end this conversation today, Trudy asks each woman for words of encouragement to women who are going through any menopause stage.  

‘Accept the change and treat yourself individually and not like others’, says Moira. ‘See what works best for you. Be comfortable in your own skin. We should be positive and feel lucky that we’re still here’.  

‘If you feel like you’re going through perimenopause, get your blood profile done to see if you are going through hormonal changes’, says Corrine. ‘Make yourself aware, speak to other women, do not be shy, open up and have a conversation about it!’ 

Mariella says, ‘Listen to your body, it talks to you. Sometimes we do not listen. When you have aches, pains and changes, your body is telling you that something needs to be adapted’. 

Thank you for talking about this topic, ladies! This is going to happen to every single woman on the planet, in one way or another. We cannot avoid it so might as well embrace it!  

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