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078 Knowing & Navigating the Symptoms of Menopause with Diane Danzebrink

Women What Whistle

Release Date: 10/15/2020

109 That Was 2022 show art 109 That Was 2022

Women What Whistle

In this episode I talk with Michaela Hyde from Marriage Foundation. It's more of a personal chat and debrief of 2022 really in which we cover empty nest syndrome, long term relationships, living with chronic pain, Michaela's menopause journey and my return to education. We also talk about HRT and also other techniques for resilience that help us survive the ups and downs of life. As promised, here are the menopause-specific episodes: 104 To HRT or Not with Sharon Hartmann (this is an edited-down version of 91, Menopause HRT and your GP) 103 - Diane Danzebrink talks about her surgical...

108 Cliteracy and The G-Spot show art 108 Cliteracy and The G-Spot

Women What Whistle

Sex therapist Emma Waring joins me for part 2, following on from episode 107, ‘Is Your Sex Life Dutiful or Beautiful?’ to discuss the more intimate side of pleasure and our sexual relationships. We discuss orgasms, how the clitoris works, how vibrators can improve our sex lives and she reveals the all-important location of the not-so-elusive G-Spot. (Did you know that 96% of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm? Hollywood might have us think otherwise). Emma shows various vibrators during this episode which we describe for audio-only purposes, however we did also film the conversation...

107 Your Sexlife, Dutiful or Beautiful? show art 107 Your Sexlife, Dutiful or Beautiful?

Women What Whistle

In this episode we talk about equality in sex and relationships. We delve into the roots of cultural and religious writings that have informed a male superiority over the centuries, where women's shame around sex, nakedness and physical desire comes from, how we can recognise if our sexual script is skewed/damaged, and what to do about it.  NB trigger warning at 15 minutes where Emma describes the action of rape, it is no more than one minute long. Once again, Emma is fantastic and gives us lots to think about. If you've not heard the first episode she did, Episode 94 'What is Good Sex?'...

106 Helena Croft: Once a Shy Girl, Now A Warrior For Women show art 106 Helena Croft: Once a Shy Girl, Now A Warrior For Women

Women What Whistle

10 years ago, Helena Croft founded Streetlight UK. Prostitution and trafficking is a very real issue. It’s quite of the moment to suggest that sex work is empowering, but Helena has a very different and experienced take on this narrative which is currently being pushed about. This episode is a conversation of two halves. First is about how Helena overcame terrible shyness and uncontrollable blushing that often held her back in life. And then how her faith helped her find her voice, which began her transition into politics. 10 years ago, she then founded Streetlight UK which gives support to...

105 Not Scary For Cary show art 105 Not Scary For Cary

Women What Whistle

In this podcast episode, author talks to me about her epic midlife adventure in which she went back to university, already as a mum of twins, and having also navigated divorce. She accidentally fell in love and decided to relocate to Sweden once she graduated… and then found out she was carrying more than suitcases! I’m not so sure she set out for it to be an adventure but it really was, and then, of course, hormones began to change so she had some more navigating to do. During that time, she’s raising twins, a new baby, paddleboarding, cold water swimming and writing short stories and...

104 To HRT or Not? show art 104 To HRT or Not?

Women What Whistle

This is an edited-down version of podcast episode 91 in which Menopause specialist Sharon Hartmann discusses hormone change with me and how we can best navigate it. She covers things like when hormone change begins, what can instigate it outside of the natural rhythm of life, and then she covers various symptoms, some more unknown than others. We also discuss natural v HRT (spoiler: topically applied HRT IS a natural product), the difference between gel, patches and spray; the importance of how you apply, testosterone, the Mirena coil, and also the length of time to take HRT and if it's ever...

103 Diane Danzebrink on menopause, breaking point and activism show art 103 Diane Danzebrink on menopause, breaking point and activism

Women What Whistle

This week we talk with Diane Danzebrink, campaigner, psychotherapist and menopause expert about her experience of menopause which was brought on by surgery for a hysterectomy, after discovering she had ovarian cysts, endometriosis, adenomyosis and a large fibroid. So severe were the psychological effects of menopause that it almost resulted in Diane ending her life. She tells the story in this episode. Her website is and you can sign the petition (please do because it’s getting very close to the all-important 200k) . There are also extensive available on her website, she also records a...

102 Brave Enough show art 102 Brave Enough

Women What Whistle

Grief is something that we’ve all found ourselves talking about with the loss of Queen Elizabeth. It has a profound impact on us and during this collective time, many of us have experienced the pain of other losses rise to the surface. In this episode, we talk to Jo Moseley, who found herself feeling at the end of herself after her own journey of grief and in the midst of menopause. Almost accidentally she turned it around and literally paddled her way out. She’s now a filmmaker, podcaster and writer, and the first woman to stand up paddleboard the 162 coast-to-coast trail from the west to...

101 What Is Normal? Does it even exist? show art 101 What Is Normal? Does it even exist?

Women What Whistle

Here we go, the first episode of Women What Whistle, renamed and revamped and very much about not falling in line or fading away. It’s about finding our brave through the stories of other women who’ve had to find theirs.  We start this week with a conversation laying out the concept that challenges our perception of normal. We so often berate ourselves for not being like someone else, but ultimately, normal is most beneficial when measured against ourselves. Dr Sarah Chaney, historian of nursing and emotions, joins me for a conversation in which we talk about how this concept of...

100 Coming Out and The Story So Far show art 100 Coming Out and The Story So Far

Women What Whistle

THE STORY SO FAR: Welcome to our final episode from inside the wardrobe. We are relaunching with a slightly new focus in the Autumn which I explain about in this episode The previous episodes I signpost are: Menopause: 72, 78, 79, 91, 92, 93 The 5 love languages: 25 What is good sex: 94 Eating disorders or food related: 29 76 92 95 Grief and depression: 49 84 85   The link to my website is The link for subscribing to Women What Whistle is And the link to our Facebook group page is As ever, thank you so much for listening – much love all round!!

More Episodes

Our hormones have for many years been subjected to shameful jibes however, they are immensely powerful and the driving force behind so much of who we are, hence the title of this episode. The thing is, they also change as we transition into the next phase of our lives around our mid/late 40s and when they begin to change, we can find the impact on our emotional, mental and physical health to be a huge shock to the system if we aren't informed about what to expect.

If we can understand what’s going on, and manage the change with support, the next phase of life has the opportunity to be even more fulfilling and wonderful. The trouble is, we often switch off to its inevitability and think that its nothing to worry about until the hot flushes start which couldn’t be further from the truth! Just like achy joints, osteoporosis, brittle bones, and forgetfulness are NOT just an inevitable sign of ageing, they are all connected to hormone change which we can do so much about when we actually understand what is going on within our body. It actually starts in your early 40s so it’s important to know what to look out for, hot flushes are much further down the line so in this episode we literally list the lot!

The trouble is, until recently, none of this has been talked about, menopause has been laden with shame, guilt and misunderstanding. The symptoms are way beyond what we have always thought and so when you know what to look out for, you are far more likely to be able to navigate this next phase of your life successfully and that’s what we are talking about in this episode, the symptoms to be looking out for.

Davina McCall was on Loose Women the other day and said how awful the menopause had been for her because she never knew, because no one had ever told her what to expect – and that is the case for nearly everyone …until now, partly thanks to my guest this week, Diane Danzebrink who has been central to this becoming a national conversation and raising an army of women who have said enough is enough, this needs to be understood and addressed properly. Diane even took the conversation right into the houses of parliament and lobbied for change, successfully -  she is a hero!

As women, we often pride ourselves on getting on with things and that’s all very well but in “just getting on with it” we are actually denying ourselves of the support that we could really benefit from, but even worse, we are allowing the stigma to continue because we are stigmatising it ourselves by saying that we SHOULD just get on with it.

So, we can either arm ourselves with information, or we can exacerbate the issue.  We have had to cover up and keep quiet about this significant functional change in our bodies for generations, for the longest time women were just seen as the child bearers and once they were done bearing and raising children, they should be put out to graze and quietly fade away – a disgraceful concept today. The life expectancy for women used to be mid 50 but now there’s an entire life to be had beyond our biologically productive years, we have much more life ahead of us but it can be dramatically effected by hormone deficiency when the body begins to change if we aren't supported correctly.

In this episode, I am joined by Diane Danzebrink, founder of the menopause support campaign and the driving force behind the #makemenopausematter movement to talk about what to look out for and the list is quite a lot to swallow –

  • Anxiety
  • Low moods
  • Depressed
  • Mood swings
  • Tearfulness
  • Brain fog
  • Reduced confidence
  • Irritability
  • Loss of joy
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Increased headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Painful or aching muscles and joints
  • Changes to periods
  • Vaginal or vulval symptoms
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Loss of libido
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Changes to oral health
  • Changes to your hair
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling dizzy or feint
  • Changes to hearing – some people hear buzzing and ringing, tinnitus type symptoms
  • Restless legs
  • Changes to body odour
  • Increase in allergies if you had them before
  • Changes to digestion – gut and bowel health

The list is quite a shock to the system when you realise the effect that hormone change can have on our bodies but as you will hear Diane say, the more we talk about it, the more we normalise it. So please share and post away, use #makemenopausematter and please sign the petition because it is vital that education is increased particularly for GPs.

If you’ve not yet heard episode 72, a beginners guide to the menopause and HRT with Dr Zoe Hodson, she talked about how GPs are barely trained AT ALL on the menopause or HRT and that is often why so many women are stranded with their symptoms, just feeling like their life and body is falling apart, when actually so much of what they’re going through is manageable – remember our hormones are amazing things, they are NOTHING to be ashamed of, they are PART of being a woman and ESSENTIAL to life – it’s crazy that we’ve had to suffer in silence for so long, and for many, it really is suffering, for years. Please don’t let that be you, and please let’s not let our children have to go through the same

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION to improve the education of our GPS and if you would like to find out more, here is the link to Diane’s website 

Also if you’ve not listened to Episode 72, here’s the link to my chat with Dr Zoe Hodson “A Beginners Guide to Menopause and HRT” and remember to subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s episode on managing mental health during this very important part of our lives.

Please feel free to join in on the Facebook group page called INSIDE MY WARDROBE and come and find me on pipagordon.co.uk