Mother and daughter start menopause support group in Ipswich
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A pub in Ipswich is starting a support group for women going through the menopause.
Penny Youngs-Debnam, 42, and her partner own The Kingfisher pub on Hawthorn Drive. She is launching the group with her mother, manager Debbie Youngs, after they both suffered menopause symptoms but struggled to get support.
“Everybody suffers in a different way,” said Penny, 42.
“I've been suffering with a few things that link to the pre-menopause. I’ve been to the doctor's a few times now.”
Penny said she had been given hormone tests, but had not been prescribed any medication to manage symptoms, because she is still considered too young.
The NHS website states that: “The menopause […] usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline.
“In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.”
- 1 Teenage girl followed twice by man in Ipswich
- 2 Travellers pitch up in Chantry Park
- 3 Court orders Ipswich drug dealer to repay £63,000
- 4 A12 to be closed over most nights for next few months due to roadworks
- 5 New information released after baby girl found dead at recycling centre
- 6 Firefighters tackle overnight blaze in mobile home near Ipswich
- 7 Delivery driver attacked twice by the same person near Woodbridge
- 8 Witness appeal after cyclist and van driver assault in Ipswich town centre
- 9 Promising young footballer ran Ipswich 'Maxwell' drugs line
- 10 Ipswich's Bistro on the Quay named among the best in the UK
Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, low mood or anxiety, and problems with memory and concentration.
Penny heard similar stories from her customers.
“Speaking to other people, there are a lot women going through it, especially the younger generation, those around my age. But no help is given to them.
“We thought maybe the experiences that my mum and the older generation have gone through could help.
“It would be a support group where we can all get together, and talk about what they do, what they use, and what remedies they use to help with symptoms.”
While younger women may struggle accessing medication, there is also currently a shortage of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) products in Britain.
Dr Caroline Marfleet is a women’s health specialist with a clinic at Nuffield Health Hospital in Ipswich.
According to her, the main shortage is of Oestrogel, which has become increasingly popular after celebrities such as Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup have spoken out about using it.
“Demand has outstripped supply,” she explained.
“There are alternatives. There is another gel called Sandrena, which works extremely well, then there are patches which come in a variety of doses, or sprays that go on the arm.
“There is no medical difference between them, but it is down to what a patient prefers and has got used to.
“You only need to miss two or three days and your symptoms return.”
Penny hopes to announce a date for the first meeting on The Kingfisher’s social media pages soon.