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‘It’s time to reduce the shame’: Perth menopause festival welcomes Nicola Sturgeon to line up

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It’s the women’s health topic that’s been making the headlines and starting conversations.

And now Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she’ll be talking about menopause at the world’s only festival on the issue.

The First Minister will be talking at Flushfest 2022 with Kirsty Wark as part of the live online festival.

And Rachel Weiss, owner of the Perth-based Menopause Cafe Charity and organiser of the event, tells us what it means to have such a high-profile guest.

Rachel Weiss runs Menopause Cafe and #FlushFest22.

The Menopause Cafe charity started in Perth in 2017 and FlushFest 2022 is now in its fourth year.

Rachel says: “I was so excited when the First Minister said she’d like to participate in FlushFest 2022, to help start conversations about menopause.”

Nicola Sturgeon has talked on a number of occasions of the importance of talking about women’s health.

Nicola Sturgeon.
Nicola Sturgeon.

Recently, she spoke of her own journey during her recent appearances on Loose Women and the Shift podcast.

Reducing the shame

The news of her involvement in the upcoming Flushfest 2022 comes as a newly published survey revealed insight into menopause and the workplace.

The survey highlights one in 10 women who have worked during the menopause have left a job due to their symptoms.

Savanta ComRes conducted the survey, thought to be the largest one of menopausal women.

It was used as part of the Channel 4 documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Mind And The Menopause.

Davina McCall
Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and the Menopause.

Rachel says it makes starting conversations about women’s health issues important.

Around half of women who needed to take a day off work due to menopause symptoms would not tell their employer the real reason for their absence, she adds.

“We need to change this by reducing the shame and silence which some women still feel about their menopause.

Menopause Cafe events enable people to talk about menopause in a safe space, in order to empower them to talk about it more freely at home, at work and with friends.”

Rachel Weiss started Menopause Cafes around the world.
Rachel Weiss started Menopause Cafes around the world.

“It can be a difficult time for some, but also a time of transition and growth.

“We all need to know how menopause can affect us, and what support is available, if needed.”

Knowledge and treatments

It’s important to remember, Rachel adds, 25% of women will “sail through” the menopause, not affected by symptoms.

“Unfortunately another 25% will be severely affected by symptoms.

“We need to make knowledge and treatments more available for them.

“The rest of us will be affected by some symptoms, but will be able to continue functioning, with the help of some lifestyle adaptions and, for some, medication.”

6 unusual menopause symptoms you may not know about

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