Davina - Sex, Myths and the Menopause
Did you catch Davina on Channel 4 last night talking menopause? It really hit home here at Team Cheeky, given that the majority of the staff are 'women of a certain age' and given that we are all about busting taboos!
Chatting around the office, menopause is literally a pain in the butt, and moodswings are very much the norm. Myself, night sweats and on / off insomnia have been an ongoing problem for the last 4 years, since I turned 44. More recently, 4 days before my period is due, my mood bombs. I'm normally very much a #brightside person, I get on, I do. But for a couple of days, just before my period, my alter-ego comes out. My alter-ego, at times, has seriously considered walking into the tide. I'm snappy with the kids and things that I normally let wash over me become triggers for absolute RAGE. Alternatively, I wake up feeling vulnerable and anxious and just want to hide away from the world.
Two days later, I'm fine. I have to say that it helps, knowing that it's hormonal and it will pass. And thankfully my partner is very understanding and lovely, taking special care to look after me for those couple of days. However it fills me with dread as to what impact the full blown menopause will have, if I am having these symptoms in peri-menopause.
I'm not alone. Jo, our head of Customer Services, who is 48, has 'stabby rage' in the run up to her period and suffers from horrible heavy and irregular periods (which you'll know if she has ever chatted 'clots' with you).
The lovely Kirstin, also customer services has even more of a sobering tale to tell. She contacted her Dr 6 months ago because she was left ruined by anxiety and paranoia in the run up to her period. To the extent that she didn't want to leave her bedroom for two days! She had been having hot flushes too and broached the possibility that she might be peri-menopausal. Her Dr said she was too young and couldn't possibly be peri-menopausal and prescribed sertraline, an SSRI anti-depressant. They worked, but why wasn't the possibility of HRT discussed?
HRT & Breast Cancer
As Davina pointed out, HRT had a LOT of bad press because of a flawed scientific paper 20 years old which stated that there was a much higher risk of breast cancer due to HRT. This has been proven to be flawed and we now believe that whilst there is some risk associated with HRT (approximately 4 in every 1000 cases), actually obesity and drinking alcohol have significantly higher impact rates.
HRT & Heart Disease, Osteoporosis & Alzheimers
There's also benefits from HRT with findings that women on HRT, on average, live several years longer than those not on it. Scientists believe that taking HRT reduces the risk of heart disease by 30% to 50% which is the top killer of women and may even help avoid the possibility of developing Alzheimers. It also protects against osteoporosis.
The upshot of the programme is:
- Educate yourself. Websites like the Menopause Doctor are a wealth of resources and are a great starting point for learning more about this transformational period
- Think about your lifestyle and exercise, could you eat healthier, drink less, exercise more?
- Visit your Dr
- Talk to them about HRT - be prepared to push for it!
Until you get to see your Dr and make those lifestyle changes, we can help!
Vaginal dryness? Switch to our toilet paper alternative kit
Our toilet paper alternative kit was recommended by one lady as a much more comfortable option than tissue. In her words:
'I actually can't bear using paper toilet roll anymore. I don't feel so fresh. Being an older lady I often suffered with dryness and had to use vaginal creams but an amazing realisation hit me a few days ago so wanted to update you! I haven't had ANY problems: no dryness, no itchiness, no soreness....nothing! My stock of creams have been untouched! I can't rate these highly enough! Easy to use, clean etc and still as white as ever. I love looking at my washing line of my 'fairy nappies'…takes me back 30 years when my daughter's terry nappies were pegged out!'
Using lubricant or having pelvic floor issues causing little leaks? Switch to our absorbent period & pee protection pants
If you're suffering from vaginal dryness, then lube is a brilliant help. We love a bit of lube here at Team Cheeky. ;-) But they can leave your knickers feeling a bit...well, moist. And one other thing that struck us, was that exercise and getting out and about in the outdoors are massive mood lifters and confidence boosts, alongside the natural physical benefits of exercise. We haven't been shy about sharing that little leaks when exercising or dancing at a party (when that was a thing), are an issue for some of us here. Rather than using chemical filled pads which can add to the issues, why not switch to our absorbent knickers. They aren't bulky or sweaty, but are actually pretty, sassy and comfy.
We are all in this together. 51% of the population are women. At any one point in time, 14% of us are going through the menopause. Let's talk about it. There's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. As I said earlier, our customer services team are women who actually use these products themselves and LOVE to overshare so if you're considering switching to reusable products such as our toilet paper alternative kit, or our absorbent pants but aren't sure where to start, please do drop us a line via chat or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.