We’d like to think health taboos are behind us: but two thirds of people do not talk about the menopause, with 61% avoiding the topic due to fear of ‘judgement’.
Join us and our ambassador, Cherry Healey, in the Pause & Listen Pledge.
We don’t know how your unique menopause feels, but we pledge to listen.
We pledge to offer support when you want it with our 4000 menopause-trained colleagues - many of whom have been through menopause themselves.
To sit and chat with someone who is going through or has been through the menopause, visit one of our Pause & Listen rooms.
Since your menopause might not follow the 9-to-5, you’ll find our experts online for an out-of-hours video call.
We promise to give you space to offload in a community that’s got time for the good, bad, and ugly truths.
We’ve all got someone who needs our ear - so join us and take the Pause & Listen Pledge.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram @hollandandbarrett and share the pledge alongside our hashtag #MenopauseandListen to help us listen, support and offer guidance to those on their menopause journey.
Cherry Healey's perimenopause story
"I began to struggle with sleeplessness and anxiety just over a year ago, but it wasn’t until I started filming Women’s Health: Breaking the Taboos, that I realised these may be the first symptoms of perimenopause. I spoke to a specialist on the show and began to explore natural remedies to help alleviate what I was experiencing.
I was lucky I was able to speak to an expert, but so many women aren’t as fortunate, and we just kind of get on with it. I think it’s really important that women take time to pause and take their symptoms seriously. Even a small conversation with a trained professional, like one of Holland & Barrett’s advisers, could make a really big difference."
Cherry Healey's perimenopause story
Like everyone I struggle with lots of things but, thankfully, sleep isn't one of them. But last year I started to develop a really unpleasant habit of waking up at 4:30 in the morning. And not just a regular wake up and get cosy and then go back to sleep but wake up and think that my Life Is On Fire. It's just awful. It takes me about an hour to get back to sleep - if I'm able to at all – and sometimes the anxiety is so intense that I have to get out of bed and start my day in the hope that something will distract me.
A few months after I started experiencing this intense anxiety, I began making a programme about women's health for Channel 5 – Women’s Health: Breaking the Taboos - and was able to ask a hormone specialist about my symptoms. He explained that this was most likely due to a lack of progesterone - the hormone that promotes sleep. I didn’t feel ready to start taking HRT, so I began looking at natural remedies that may be able to help.
I felt so grateful that I was able to talk to a professional about what I was experiencing as, at the time, I was speaking to so many women who had been ignored when they spoke to a medical professional. For some, their perimenopausal symptoms had been misdiagnosed as depression and they had been taking antidepressants for over ten years.
I’m so excited to be a part of this campaign because every woman should have easy access to up-to-date information about perimenopause and menopausal symptoms. I was so lucky as I was making a programme at the time but I'm not sure I would have bothered the GP with what I was experiencing, even though it was affecting my work, my relationships and my self-confidence.
Now that it has eased, I realise quite how much it was affecting me. But like so many women we just kind of get on with it. I think it’s really important that women take time to pause and take their symptoms seriously. So often, we are so busy looking after other people we aren’t so good at looking after ourselves. But even a small conversation with a trained professional, like one of Holland & Barrett’s advisers, could make a really big difference.
It’s wonderful that Holland and Barrett is so accessible to women all over the country and are offering a quiet space to speak to someone about symptoms that are sometimes difficult to talk about.
I'm so proud to be part of this campaign and I hope we get the message out to as many women as possible.