Gallery Overview

 

The photos in the gallery and toolkit are from the “Rollercoasting through the Menopause years” photo exhibition which I made some years ago.


I made it for two reasons – to help women to understand what the menopause years might hold in store for them – and to try and get over to the medical profession just how it can feel for women who are really struggling at this complex stage of life.


Most doctors and nurses have no idea exactly how difficult the menopause can be. Although some do special training and really empathise with their patients and care for them appropriately – others have no specialist training in menopause, are uninterested or out of date, and may therefore give an unsympathetic or inadequate service. Women doctors or nurses are not necessarily more empathic than men! – so it’s worth finding out which health professional in your GP practice is interested and specially trained.


The photos have been used with doctors and nurses at Regional Menopause conferences - and they felt that discussing the photos enabled them to understand their patients and the experience of the menopause years more fully.


All the women were in the menopause at the time they were photographed, either through a natural menopause, or for the younger women - following surgery.


They were a mixed group of ordinary women who I knew at the time – friends, family, colleagues and a few willing patients who all agreed to be photographed - and agreed for their photos to be used to help inform people about the menopause.


The first set of photos looks at some of the downsides to the menopause – the tiredness, hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, bad hair days etc.  – and maybe the illness or loss of those close to us, even those our own age, for the first time.


The second set illustrates how we can resource ourselves and care for ourselves well through the menopause years – and prepare for a fun and meaningful life well into the future.


The photos are used in session 1 of the toolkit to help people understand how many different women experience the menopause – and how women can help each other work through the difficult times and move forward with confidence, and hopefully, a support group of women they have discussed their experiences with.
I’m grateful to all the women who volunteered (or were persuaded!) to be in the original exhibition - and I hope you enjoy browsing through them!


To think about the photos more deeply on your own - or to discuss them with friends or family - look at the questions in Session 1 of the toolkit and the sheet of responses from previous groups on the “What women shared…”  sheet after the Menopause leaflet at the end of Session 1.