Poole Hospital Celebrates 25 Years of Specialized Menopause Service
The menopause clinic was the first of its kind outside London and remains the largest menopause clinic in the South West.
Mr. Tim Hillard, Consultant Gynecologist and Menopause Specialist said, “It’s great that more women now have the confidence to talk about menopause and how it has affected them.
“We have been proud to offer this service for so long, because while primary care supports many women, there has always been a need for specialist care for the most complex issues. “
Menopause affects all women, one in three having significant health problems.
“Treating the symptoms of menopause can have a major impact on a woman’s quality of life, her ability to balance work and family, and can lead to feelings of distress and an inability to cope,” said Amanda Hillard, menopause nurse. “I know women who have had to quit their jobs because they felt unable to cope or discuss the severity of their menopause symptoms with their employer.”
Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, reduced libido, sexual pain, difficulty sleeping, bad mood and anxiety, brain fog, and reduced memory. , all of which can have a serious effect on a woman’s mental health.
The average age of menopause is around 52, but many women start to experience symptoms in their mid to late 40s. Some go through menopause much earlier, which can affect fertility options and increase long-term health risks.
The team treats women who have debilitating symptoms of menopause that standard treatments such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) do not alleviate. They also help patients going through early menopause, those with more complex medical conditions, and those who may not necessarily be able to take HRT such as women who have had breast cancer.
Since its inception 25 years ago, the team has grown from St Mary’s Maternity Hospital to Harborside’s Gynecology Unit and has grown to include consultant Miss Elizabeth Stephenson.
The department is now busier than ever, with 16 menopause clinics open each month. Not only does the team treat menopause, but the clinic is Wessex’s main regional training center providing training to other healthcare professionals including nurse practitioners, general practitioners and trainee gynecologists.
Along with educating healthcare professionals, Amanda emphasizes the importance of broader menopause education in the community.
She said: “We work exceptionally hard to educate women so that when menopause hits, they know what to expect and where they can get support. But it is not only women who are nearing the expected age of menopause who need to be educated; it is younger women, their partners, employers and their staff teams.
Mr Hillard said: “I would advise any woman who is having problems around menopause, no matter what stage of life she is in, to seek help and advice.
“Quite often the symptoms can be alleviated with simple changes such as diet and lifestyle changes, but there are also a variety of treatment options available if needed.”
As a first step, women who need help with menopause can seek advice from their GP and nurse practitioners, but if they experience other difficulties, they can be referred to the menopause clinic.