This week I am writing about the menopause.

A few years ago that might have raised a few eyebrows, but it’s a subject we should talk about without embarrassment or awkwardness. That lid has been lifted thanks in part to the openness of celebrities such as Davina McCall.

When we did the update to Relationships, Sex and Health Education in 2019, we included mention of menopause for the first time – so boys and girls would know about this growing up – and it may of course be affecting parents or others in their extended family.

Now, I’m certainly no expert but there are many who are, and are helping spread general awareness and offer support.

One of them is local resident Katerina Kivell, a licensed menopause champion and health coach, who runs the menopause café every second Thursday of the month at the Royal Exchange in Lindford. This is an open, inclusive environment where women can go along and talk all things menopause.

Hot flushes, mood swings, anxiety and trouble sleeping are all well-documented symptoms brought on by significant hormonal changes. But I know from Katerina that the symptoms can be much wider-ranging.

There is an important link to employment. For some women in the workplace symptoms can be debilitating, embarrassing and damaging to confidence levels. Employers should be aware of the signs and sensitively support employees in making adjustments, for example by allowing flexible working, providing a desk fan, and relaxing uniform policies.

A few weeks ago I read an article suggesting that the much-publicised ‘menopause revolution’ may actually have made some women more anxious about the onset of symptoms. I’m sure that’s the case for a few women, but I think the fact that the menopause has come out of the shadows can only be a good thing for women – and for men too.

Katerina is planning to open a second cafe in Petersfield soon and potentially a ‘men only’ session to try and get more men talking about menopause and how they might be able to support the women in their lives.

You can find out more about nationwide menopause cafes at

To book a slot at Katerina’s next menopause cafe, visit Eventbrite and search for ‘Bordon menopause cafe’.

And finally, thank you to everybody who came to last week’s public meeting in Alton. My next meeting will be in the Liphook/Bramshott area on April 11 – details are on my website.