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Trudi Roscouet and Dr Rebecca Harling

Menopause doesn't have to be the end

menopause Oct 18, 2021

First Published in Bailiwick Express - 18th October 2021

A local wellness specialist, who struggled with menopause, has teamed up with a GP to set up a monthly forum aiming to support and empower women with tips on how to manage the milestone life event.

Trudi Roscouet of Vitality40plus and Dr Rebecca Harling of St. Martin's Surgery will be at Coopers Coffee at Castle Quay on Tuesday 19 October from 19:30 for the first ‘Menopause Forum’, a day after World Menopause Day.

Both women have an interest in women’s health.

Dr Harling has been practising medicine for 16 years is a member of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care. She previously ran a sexual health clinic and recently took up a post at Le Bas Centre to provide contraceptive services.

Trudi, meanwhile, has years of experience in the health and fitness industry and specialises in women and children’s fitness.

Her research however took on a different focus when she started going through menopause in 2019.

“I was on my way to Spain at the time, then lockdown happened, I did so much research and realised that as women, we were not really informed as to what happens. It was a really enlightening time,” she said.

It was after returning to the island and whilst she was struggling to find solutions to the symptoms she was experiencing that Trudi connected with Dr Harling over Facebook.

“The symptoms are so generic, it’s difficult to know where we are,” she explained. “There are 36 symptoms. One that everybody is aware of is insomnia, it’s horrendous. I had issues for three years. Either someone can’t go to sleep, or they have a 03:00 alarm and they can’t go back to sleep. There’s also hot flushes and night sweats.

“There are also symptoms which are more rare symptoms, like electric shocks.When I was in Spain, I could not touch a microwave without getting a shock. My partner could go in and be fine, but I couldn’t. I did some research and found out it’s all to do with hormone imbalance.”

Trudi and Dr Harling decided to create a forum where the latter could give a clinical overview of menopause, including symptoms and potential situations, and the former could holistically address the other challenges women face during this period.

“It’s about having a forum where people can listen, find out more and ask questions,” Trudi said. “We want people to interact and ask questions. We really want to find out more information. Going forward, what we are going to do is base our meetings on a theme, such as a particular symptom or weight loss for example.”

Trudi hopes the forum will help women become more aware of the symptoms they endure, describing her own experience as a “journey of discovery” that sees her finding out something new about menopause every day.

She also hopes the meeting will enable men and companies understand how to help the women in their lives and their employees respectively.

“Many women suffer in silence, nobody talks about it,” Trudi said. “My 20-year-old son asked, ‘What is this menopause thing you're doing, mum?’ so we had a discussion about it. It’s about awareness and the ability to know.

“If men want to come along, this is entirely fine. I have been having lots of discussions with my partner and he know feels more free to discuss it with other women if they mention they are going through menopause.

“If we, as women, do not understand what is going on with us, how on earth can a man understand about the 36 symptoms that can strike at any time?

“We want people to feel they are able to talk about menopause without the taboo. Knowledge is the key word, the more you have knowledge the more you can be empowered. Menopause does not have to be the end, it’s a critical time but it’s not the end. Your life changes but it’s also a time to do whatever you want.”

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