(As they say in Lancashire)

Now after a perimenopause that lasted over 12 years and made a bit of a mess of her life, she’s the person that’s going to get you through your menopause without all that mess!

She also works with schools to help them raise awareness of…

(because you’re not a war zone)

Goya, the 2nd May 1808, Museo de Prado, Madrid.

You feel like you have to fight

We have to fight illness and ill health, right? We’re supposed to battle to be well. If we survive we’re victorious. If we die we lose. And if we just go through life struggling with our symptoms what are we then? Failed warriors? Collaborators? Cowards?

Stop. Resist this line of thought. Menopause feels like an interloper — an invader even. We don’t invite it in, but it happens anyway.

The thing is it doesn’t happen to our body. It is what our body does.

My body did it, quickly and brutally. I was crippled by what was diagnosed as vulvodynia…

What? Why? How?

I can’t go back because I can’t talk to anyone about this.

It’s just too embarrassing.

I don’t know what support I can expect.

My colleagues treat it all as a bit of a joke.

People say I shouldn’t make a fuss because it’s ‘natural’, but I can’t cope.

‘Women’s problems’ have to be discussed in a hushed voice.

None of us dare speak openly about it in case it affects our careers.

School don’t even have a menopause policy.

They really don’t care about women and what we go through.

These are all things that teachers and lecturers have…

An open response to notallmen whataboutery on social media

Photo: promorepublic

So here’s the thing. Of course it’s not all men. But it is all women — and not just once. Assault and the threat of it are part of our everyday lives. So if you do the maths you realise that some men are doing this again and again and again.

And then surely you ask the question about how that can happen — how these men — like the one who killed Sarah Everard — can hide in plain sight.

There are several reasons. One is that a lot of male behaviour that is hostile to, or disrespectful of…

And can we still have fun with our clothes on?

Lockdown hair… but you know when you’ve got the colours right! (Photo by author)

I’ve always loved clothes….

…ever since I was a teenager looking in magazines, marvelling at clothes we could never afford. I used to try to create my own version with my mum’s old sewing machine, off-cuts from the market, and jumble sale finds. (We didn’t have vintage in those days, just second-hand.) A few years later I discovered Afflecks Palace, then in its heyday and there was no stopping me.

We are not what we were.

I am not her anymore. I don’t look like her. I don’t feel like her. I don’t live like her. Sometimes I miss her. (Photo by Tim Lambon)

The menopause. We dread it. We deny it. And if we are not careful, we disparage it, and ourselves as menopausal women.

It happens to all women — those of us that make it this far at least — and no matter how much we fight it, ignore it or complain about it, it still happens.

Usually, it comes as a physical and emotional shock. That drop in oestrogen and progesterone affects nearly every part of the body and the brain. And it affects the way we see ourselves and the way other people see us.

Menopause can be one…

Don’t worry, that’s not my vagina, it’s the bark of my cherry tree…

(image by author)

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this blog for ages, but it turns out it’s almost impossible to sit down and to think about vaginal dryness at the same time!

Firstly, it’s not just about sex!

Before I got to peri-menopause, I thought that vaginal dryness was just about having to use a bit of lube in order to be comfortable during sex.

Sorry ladies, but that’s a patriarchal view of the problem — seeing it entirely through the lens of the way it affects men.

Let’s be frank, you sit on your bits. The external structures of your vulva rub together as you…

Come and Join Our Facebook Group — We’re…

Nature’s Not Your Mother.

Monkshood. It’s beautiful. Don’t eat it. Nature’s Not Your Mother. (Llez, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Not having the right words to reply to a doctor is perfectly natural

I had a pain in my lower abdomen, too low for my appendix, pretty much over my right ovary.

I went to get it checked out. Was it a menopausal thing?

Why would the menopause hurt? she said. It’s perfectly natural.

Like many of us, I usually think of the right thing to say once I’m home and putting the kettle on.

Periods are perfectly natural, but they’ve caused me a great deal of pain over the last 40 years.

Nature’s not your mother. It doesn’t teach you right and wrong.

I love nature. I’m constantly nourished by it — whether it’s a walk in the hills, the feel of soil…

Helen Clare

Helping you get to grips with perimenopause and menopause before it gets a grip of you. https://linktr.ee/Helenclare

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