Hundreds of women across the Channel Islands are seeking menopause support

  • In the second part of our menopause series and Jessica Tidswell looks at what treatment and support is available.

Hundreds of women across the Channel Islands are currently seeking treatment and support to help manage their menopause symptoms.

While some have opted purely for medical treatment such as Hormone Replacement Therapy, others have also made changes to their lifestyle.

A survey carried out by the Primary Care Women's Health Forum in 2019 revealed 79% of women had seen a healthcare professional for their perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.

This was 29% higher than in 2016, when a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of the British Menopause Society revealed just 50% of women had seen a healthcare professional for support.


For Justine Allen from Jersey, exercise has played a huge part in helping her to manage symptoms.

"It's literally been life-changing for me, I had put on a lot of weight through the menopause, so for the last couple of years coming here and doing the classes helps me to lose weight and regulate my weight and I just feel better for it."

Justine Allen says regular exercise and HRT has been "life-changing" in helping her manage the menopause. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Not only does exercise help with physical health, but with mental well-being too.

A recent study by Brand Champions revealed 83% of women in the Channel Islands say they want issues around women's health to be discussed more openly.

Something Ruth Wainwright has found when taking part in regular HIIT classes.

"I think part of it is being together, the comradery, we all turn up, we all talk before we start, sometimes at the end if we're not too out of breath, but it's a really good place for people to casually have the conversation without having the 'menopause conversation'."

Ruth Wainwright says exercise classes are a really good place for people to casually talk about the menopause. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"To actually have the conversation with people without having to go to your doctor, you genuinely feel the isolation is massive, you're the only one who's awake at 3 in the morning, then you discover everyone is awake at 3 in the morning."


Nutritionist Jess Pinel says women also can make some simple changes to their diet to help manage the effects of the menopause.

"Women can really take control of their weight management, mood swings, sleep, skin, and bone health, so all these things nutrition can really help with. I think the main nutrition tip is to really incorporate the Mediterranean diet."


Emma Harper started an alcohol free drinks company after she found that alcohol was increasing the severity of her menopause symptoms.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Emma says as she was getting older the effects of alcohol were worse for her: "I was beginning to feel that I needed to cut back or cut out.

"I discovered that when you get older your liver doesn't process the alcohol as well, plus the body doesn't retain water as it did, so therefore you feel the effects of the alcohol the next day a lot worse."

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

In the past there have been countless headlines about the negative impact of taking Hormone Replacement Therapy - particularly around the increased risk of breast cancer.

A study carried out by the British Menopause Society revealed that over the next five years four in 1,000 women aged between 50 and 59 will get breast cancer because of their combined HRT.

That is the same number of women who will get breast cancer because of their combined contraceptive pill.

Combined HRT and conceptive pills includes both oestrogen and progesterone hormones.

There will be four fewer cases in women who take oestrogen only Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

The risk of getting breast cancer is far greater in women who are overweight or obese, where there will be an additional 24 cases.

For many women like Justine Allen, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

"I went to the doctor and we sat down and talked about all the risks associated with HRT and it was quite obvious that the benefits far outweighed the risks of taking HRT."

HRT now contains natural hormones that are identical to the ones the body produces.

Dr Rebecca Harling specialises in treating the menopause and says oestrogen and progesterone now used in HRT comes from the root vegetable, the yam.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

"We put that into patches and gels and tablets and so people get a more natural type of HRT compared to many years ago when it was more synthetic and man made hormones."

Alternative treatments and medication

There are alternatives to HRT for women who cannot or do not wish to take it.

They can have varying success and include; medications that specifically help reduce hot flushes and sweats, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Homeopathy can also be helpful but it is advised to be taken with caution as it is often unregulated and can interfere with other medication.

Jersey menopause support

Guernsey menopause support