Have a menopause question? You’ll find the answers here.
Join me, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson, for the definitive perimenopause and menopause podcast. Each week I’m joined by a special guest for the lowdown on the latest research and treatments, bust myths and share inspirational stories.
This podcast is brought to you by the Newson Health Group, which has clinics across the UK dedicated to providing personalised perimenopause and menopause care for all women. It funds cutting-edge menopause research and creates clinical-led education programmes for healthcare professionals. It also funds the award-winning balance menopause support app, which provides free menopause resources and support to millions of people worldwide, empowering and enabling women to have choice and control over their perimenopause and menopause treatment.
232 - Gabby Logan: the power of exercising in midlife
This week Dr Louise is joined by broadcaster and former international gymnast, Gabby Logan. Gabby is the host of her own successful podcast The Mid Point where she speaks about midlife challenges, and here she shares her own experiences of the menopause.
Gabby reflects on the impact of the menstrual cycle on female athletes and the positive impact of speaking about it and increasing awareness. She shares how exercise is helping her to forge and cement friendships and make time for herself, and how HRT helped her to rekindle her vigour for exercise.
Finally, Gabby shares three reasons why we should all be exercising, regardless of our age:
It’s future proofing. I want to be active in my 80s, playing golf, going for long walks and getting myself out of a chair without it being a kind of a national incident. So I’m doing things now that are going to help empower me.
It’s good for your mental health. In my 20s, I realised somehow that exercise was good for me mentally. I knew that going for a run was about clearing my brain, getting back on track if I'd had a wobbly day or starting the day well. That feeling has grown and I know exercise is vital for mental health.
It’s about balance. Think 80/20. If you are going to fall off, have a glass of wine or a gin and tonic at the weekends, don't feel bad about it. The exercise I'm doing will hopefully help to negate some of the toxins I might occasionally put inside me.
Follow Gabby on Instagram @gabbylogan
231 - Getting to the truth around HRT and breast cancer with Dr Avrum Bluming
Leading US oncologist Dr Avrum Bluming joins Dr Louise Newson to talk about the crucial role of oestrogen in women’s health.
Despite HRT’s proven benefits in protecting against heart disease, bone fracture and cognitive decline, many women still avoid it over breast cancer fears.
It’s been more than 20 years since media headlines about a study called the Women’s Health Initiative linked HRT to an increased risk of breast cancer. In this podcast, Dr Bluming says that in fact we now know oestrogen alone decreases the risk of breast cancer development by 23% and risk of death from breast cancer by 40%.
He also disputes the findings of the WHI study that combined progesterone and oestrogen HRT leads to a small increase in breast cancer cases.
‘It is very upsetting when such an influential study continues to misquote their own data,’ says Dr Bluming, who has spent 25 years studying the benefits and risks of HRT in breast cancer survivors.
Dr Bluming points out that oestrogen used to be a treatment for breast cancer before chemotherapy was developed, and that rates of breast cancer increase as we age, despite the fact our oestrogen levels fall as we get older.
You can read about Dr Bluming's latest paper here, and listen to an earlier podcast Dr Newson and Dr Bluming recorded here.
230 - Confronting my menopause fears
Raquela Mosquera joins Dr Louise Newson in this episode to talk about the turmoil, anxiety and unexplained bleeding she went through during her menopause.
Raquela is the mum of Joe Wicks, the fitness coach who kept the country moving during lockdown and who has also appeared on Dr Louise’s podcast. Joe put Raquela in touch with Dr Louise after she confided her worries over her symptoms.
The anxiety, brain fog and isolation led to Raquela leaving the job she loved, but adjusting her HRT has transformed her life. Listen to Raquela and Dr Louise share tips about how to get the right HRT dose and type to suit you to get the maximum benefit.
Raquela’s three tips:
Educate yourself on the symptoms of the menopause and right down all your symptoms before seeing your GP, including when these symptoms started and what can make them worse.
Be a menopause warrior. Chat about your experience to friends and family to reduce the stigma around the menopause.
Don’t be scared of HRT. Go to your GP and talk about whether it could work for you before making any decisions.
Listen to Dr Louise’s podcast with Joe Wicks here
229 - Testosterone: beyond libido
Testosterone is an important sex hormone for both men and women (although women have much lower levels) produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands and declines during the menopause.
When it comes to menopause, testosterone is a hormone that can be misunderstood, and many women struggle to access testosterone treatment on the NHS.
Here Dr Louise and her Newson Health colleague, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Catherine Coward, talk about how it can be a valuable addition to HRT for women around the menopause and beyond.
NICE menopause guidance recommends testosterone can be beneficial for women experiencing low libido where HRT alone hasn’t helped. Yet Dr Louise and Dr Catherine talk how in their clinical experience, testosterone benefits can extend beyond sex drive-related symptoms, with patients reporting improvements including having more energy, and reduced brain fog and anxiety.
Click here for more about Dr Catherine.
228 - Exercise ‘snacks’ and menopause with Lavina Mehta MBE
Personal trainer, wellness coach and mum-of-three Lavina Mehta MBE joins Dr Louise in this week’s episode to share her advice on boosting your activity levels during the perimenopause and menopause.
As a British Asian, Lavina is passionate about ensuring her message of the benefits of exercise reaches all communities, and highlights how exercise can treat, prevent and reduce the risks of chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.
Lavina encourages busy women to begin ‘exercise snacks’, which are short bursts of activity that can be slotted into full days. Finally, Lavina shares her three easy wins to improve future health:
Start strength training and prioritise building your muscle mass over losing weight.
Start off small with exercise ‘snacks’, which means adding little bite-sized chunks of exercise throughout your day. It all counts and it is never too late to start.
Keep talking, keep learning, keep educating yourself and keep sharing your journey with everyone around you.
For more about Lavina, visit her website and follow her on Instagram @feelgoodwithlavina, plus feel good workouts and exercise snacks on her YouTube channel @feelgoodwithlavina.
227 - Children and the menopause: the importance of talking
In this episode, Dr Louise speaks to the youngest of her three daughters, Lucy, about all things menopause. Lucy, 12, recalls making her mother an HRT tote bag when she was six, plus hiding in her room when there were arguments at home, when Dr Louise was struggling with her symptoms.
Lucy shares her experience of having her mum in the public eye, gives Dr Louise sage advice for dealing with bullies and offers her views on why menopausal women need help to remain in the workplace. In a survey conducted for her book, Dr Louise discovered 75% of women had never discussed menopause in their home when they were growing up. Barriers included a lack of knowledge, embarrassment, lack of communication, being short on time and feelings of shame around the topic.
While Lucy has had lots of conversations about the menopause at home, she reveals that school education on the subject was limited. But conversations with children about the menopause are important as they can help normalise it.
This World Menopause Month, help us start the most menopause conversations – ever. Everyone’s menopause is individual and to help others understand and manage their menopause, we must break taboos, educate and start the conversation.
How to get involved
Have a conversation about the menopause
Log your conversation on the balance app or website
Share that you’ve got involved by tagging us on social media, using the hashtag #PauseToTalk
Promoted Dr Louise & her/her team’s work to Aviva today!
Renegotiating my health insurance so mentioned HRT & Dr L plus Davina & Caroline Harris plus HRT Cert to both Bupa & Aviva today re benefits of hrt re offsetting risk of dementia,osteoporosis & cardio vascular issues.The lady @ Aviva was particularly interested!#Pause to Talk.My Balance app won’t work sadly re posting on the forums.Have tried to resolve.
A Brilliant Woman
Thank you for rising above the sea of drowning menopausal women and pulling us all up with you. Your podcast is excellent, your passion is amazing and your balance app is genius! A million thank yous
Episode 221 - this so resonated with my experience of heart palpitations. Had all the tests, decided myself to explore the HRT route after reading Dr Newson’s articles. This stopped the heart palpitations and my joint pain. I was lucky my GP had done a short course on the menopause, although her knowledge is still limited. Grateful for all the info being shared by Dr Newson and her team. Thank You