The Menopause. An inevitable part of life, or a seemingly never-ending ordeal? At times, it can feel like both – but if you are one of the lucky ones that don’t experience a host of debilitating symptoms, then it is unlikely you will relate to much of what I have to say here.

The menopause is indicated by the ending of having a monthly menstrual period and, for many, this is its one saving grace. Hot flushes and night sweats are the most common features of the menopause after periods stop. Duvet on, duvet off, duvet on, duvet off is a common night-time experience for many. There may be times when you dress warmly to face the cold outside, then find your internal heating system goes into overdrive and you need to peel away the layers.

These also leads to sleep disturbance, which can then impact on mood. The grumpy, tired you becomes a common feature, perhaps one which sends our nearest and dearest running for cover to avoid getting caught in the wake. But mood is also another significant part of the menopause: many will attest to the debilitating anxiety and depressive mood that can afflict a menopausal person. Often, we can feel a sense of losing ourselves and this can be a very frightening position to be in.

And what about sex? The previous enjoyment of sex can get downgraded into an uncomfortable and painful experience. Vaginal dryness is common and can cause significant discomfort, which leads to sex avoidance. Our poor partners don’t know which way to turn – are we grumpy tired partner, anxious, depressed partner or don’t-come-near-me-with-a-barge-pole partner?

Putting irony aside, the menopause is no laughing matter and can have serious consequences for how we see ourselves, and how we are with others. I’d like to tell you that there is hope.

Here at The Retreat, we can offer you an empathetic, professional and bespoke service to help you navigate through this stage of your life.

Through our CBT programme, we can help you to manage your mood and anxiety. We also offer psychosexual therapy, which can help to support your sexual intimacy and management of those awful hot flushes.

We work in an inclusive way for all individuals or couples, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, living arrangements and disability.

If you would like to find out more about the different therapy styles we can offer, please get in touch by contacting us on 01904 412551, or by emailing info@theretreatyork.org.uk