Calls for Northern Ireland to have a 'women's health strategy'

There have been calls for Northern Ireland to have a women's health strategy like the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

On Tuesday, Northern Ireland's first menopause charity "Menopause Together" called on health and political leaders to start the ground work to implement the move when the Northern Ireland Executive returns.

It would focus specifically on women's health issues including menopause, perimenopause and endometriosis.

Rosin Hillman who is a Trustee and founder of the charity says menopause remains a taboo issue here.

Ms Hillman says the strategy is an opportunity to get it right for women and girls and help make a real difference to 51% of the population.

“Having a fit and healthy female population helps build and sustain a healthy society. One in 4 women consider leaving their job because of the menopause."

Fiona Brown, Chairperson of "Menopause Together" says “Women across Northern Ireland need access to accurate, timely information and support to enable them to manage the impact of menopause on their lives.

"However, our experience to date has shown that this isn’t happening and is further exacerbated by the lack of a cohesive Women’s Health Strategy and recent reductions in funding.

"As a charity our focus is to support women and anyone involved in their menopause care, to have evidence based information and access to support and we therefore call on those with influence to work on the development, implementation and resourcing of a Women’s Health Strategy.”

Lisa Copeland is a member of the Menopause support group and she wanted to share her story to help other women.

"I suffered years of pain, physical changes, anxiety and sleepless nights because of perimenopause something she said she never heard of...I had to do my own research and figure it out myself and get the help that I needed from my GP."

"I want women to know that they are not alone and that it is a very natural stage of life but the symptoms are unnatural and the help is there."

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