Davina McCall’s latest Documentary: Sex, Mind and the Menopause, which airs tonight (Monday 2 May), looks at the impact of menopause on our mental health, how this affects women in the workplace, the role of testosterone and the HRT postcode lottery.
There’s a lot of reasons why this new documentary is so timely and important.
The current HRT shortage
Following the success of Davina McCalls Sex, Myths and the Menopause, produced by Kate Muir in 2021, huge numbers of women still had unanswered questions about the menopause.
But it’s also believed that the first documentary contributed to more understanding of the benefits of HRT and led to increased demand.
Now Channel 4 brings us the follow-up documentary Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and the Menopause, and the timing couldn’t be more pertinent, with HRT shortages making headlines again here in the UK.
Whether you take HRT or not, I'm sure you'll agree that these current shortages are nothing short of a scandal - and another example of women's health needs not being prioritised as they should.
Our inbox at The Latte Lounge has been filled with desperate emails from so many women looking for other options - buying on the black market, paying over the odds, or trying to source from overseas.
The issue has now gained national media attention, and we've contributed to articles in The Guardian, The Times, and The Daily Mail as well as appearing on GB News this week.
How perimenopause and menopause symptoms affect women in the workplace
I can certainly relate to a lot of the content in this latest documentary as it explores how peri/menopause can affect the mind, as well as the body, with brain fog and memory loss affecting women at work.
This was one of the worst symptoms I experienced, which forced me to leave my own job & that’s why I’m so keen on helping organisations to raise awareness through educational events & by helping managers to write & implement menopause guidelines/policies to support women in the workplace.
Our survey with Fertifa Fertility last year highlighted that 42% of women consider leaving their job because of symptoms. This cannot be allowed to continue, we are losing valuable talent at the peak of their career & the cost to the economy is enormous.
Impaired cognitive function was shown to be more problematic than physical symptoms. When asked to state which symptoms the respondents experienced, the top 6 answers were all related to mental health and cognition:
- Tiredness or a lack of energy 87%,
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating 87%,
- Anxiety 84%,
- Difficulty sleeping 83%
- Poor memory 79%
- Low mood or depression 77%
These findings are reflected in a landmark study based on data from the largest-ever survey of menopausal and peri-menopausal women in the UK, The Fawcett Society - Official, based on survey data commissioned by Channel 4 of over 4,000 women.
The role of testosterone for women
The documentary also shines a light on the importance of testosterone in women. While oestrogen usually takes the focus of conversations about menopause there’s a growing appreciation of the role of testosterone.
As Dr Philippa Kaye explained in an article for our website, testosterone is important for our energy levels, memory, concentration and libido/sex drive too.
So, what next for menopause care?
After six years of supporting thousands and thousands of women in our community, The Latte Lounge, as well as campaigning alongside Diane Danzebrink & so many other amazing campaigners, drs and public figures, I feel like all the noise we have created has finally broken through the silence.
With a new HRT Tsar now in place to address the shortages & Menopause being front and centre of the new women's health strategy, I feel cautiously optimistic that, in the words of Diane, “We will be the generation to #makemenopausematter"
Please keep signing & sharing the petition.
Author: Katie Taylor
RELATED: If you feel you might be suffering from peri/menopausal symptoms, download our FREE perimenopause symptom checker here: