‘This phase of life can be truly incredible’: 10 women on the menopause lessons they wish they’d known sooner | With you through menopause

When we speak about menopause it’s often as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Yet for many women, once they’ve found the right help and support, menopause is an empowering, liberating time, and can be literally life-changing.

We spoke to 10 women to hear about their positive journeys through menopause, and the lessons they’ve learned during this pivotal time in their lives …

1 Samantha, 50, Beaconsfield
Once I received a diagnosis of perimenopause it set me on a new journey. I found that this phase of life can be truly incredible for women, filled with empowerment and renewed energy. What I’ve discovered for myself is that with the right combination of supplements and exercise, I can genuinely have the best time. I’m just getting started!

There are many ways to navigate the perimenopause and menopause. Photograph: VeaVea/Stocksy United

2 Mel, 51, Beverley
Navigating menopause successfully for me meant becoming much more internally focused. My menopause passion is strength training, which I believe should be standard practice for menopausal women. It has kept me physically and mentally strong during menopause, while enabling me to maintain good self-esteem and a clear identity as an individual.

3 Suzy, 50, Newcastle upon Tyne
The thing I wish I’d known sooner is what the signs and symptoms are. I ended up walking away from my career as a lawyer because I thought I was losing my mind and wasn’t capable of doing my job any more. I realised a few months after I’d left that it was perimenopause. I’m now taking HRT, which has literally changed my life, and I am following my passion for writing.

4 Linzi, 50, Tunbridge Wells
I am totally loving having zero periods – it has been such a liberation. A couple of years ago my menopause signs and symptoms were seriously bad, so I took a number of positive steps, including stopping drinking alcohol and caffeine, getting more sleep, taking supplements, doing more activities just for me, and learning to say “no”.

I’m definitely feeling transformed as a result, and I wish I’d started sooner. The number one biggest change for me has been shifting my beliefs around menopause. I’m determined to make my menopause journey one of hope, strength and liberation.

5 Adele, 40, Dunfermline
I experienced early perimenopause at the age of 35, and the past five years have turned out to be one of the most empowering and vibrant chapters of my life. Instead of viewing menopause as the ending of something, I decided to see it as the beginning of something new and exciting.

It’s given me the freedom to pursue my dreams and passions.

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6 Mia, 57, London
I was struggling with menopausal anxiety at the age of 50 – I dreaded getting older and being seen as irrelevant. But then I realised it was time to become more body confident. When I decided to stop dying my hair and go fully silver, it came with a sense of relief and acceptance.

I’ve never felt more comfortable in my skin than I do now. At 54 I was scouted on Instagram, and now I’m a model owning my age and my grey hair! I feel very lucky to be a small part of the increased representation, empowering black, midlife women. I hope when people see me they feel included and seen … that gives me purpose.

“Being a 42-year-old busy mum-of-two it’s important to me that I continue to look after myself” Stocksy comp 5162287
Getting to know the signs and symptoms of menopause can help you live life to the full. Photograph: Lea Jones/Stocksy United

7 Simone, 42, Dorset
I always had a very active life, but everything suddenly changed when I didn’t feel healthy. The signs, symptoms and pains of menopause were taking everything I loved from me. Eventually I started on my HRT journey, and began supplementing with a daily protein formula. Being a 42-year-old busy mum-of-two it’s important to me that I continue to look after myself and have enough energy to keep up with my sons. I now feel incredible – the best I have in years!

8 Geeta, 56, London
The main thing that enables me to celebrate menopause is that I am able to finally work out what I need, how to give it to myself, and to prioritise myself to meet that need. I believe that not enough is said about the mindset shift that can occur through this process and how amazingly liberated it can make you finally feel.

9 Becky, 51, Hay-on-Wye
I’m a 51-year-old woman who hit menopause during lockdown. I found a brilliant menopause coach, travelled solo for three months in the Greek islands, changed my diet, upped my exercise, started meditation and yoga, and rediscovered myself.

Menopause felt like everything was closing in and my options for a different life were starting to be limited. Today it’s totally the opposite. New life (I’m a full-time global house and pet sitter), new love (Turkish beau I found on the adventure) and a new me (13kg lighter, travelling the world, living life to the full!).

10 Gillian, 49, Edzell, Angus
In my early 30s, I faced perimenopause and fertility issues. Following IVF, twins and then HRT, I discovered a lifestyle programme focusing on nutrition, exercise, learning, and mindset transformation. By taking charge, I was able to shape this phase to become the best version of myself. Menopause need not be a daunting journey; we can emerge stronger. It’s all about empowering ourselves, to feel and be the best we can be.

Whether you’re looking for products to ease specific signs and symptoms or for advice, Boots can help. Find out more about its products and services at the Boots Health Hub, or head in-store to speak to one of its pharmacists

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