Dr Louise Newson worked as a GP in a large practice near Solihull, West Midlands for 15 years, as well as a medical writer and editor, having written hundreds of articles on various topics for both doctors, patients and organisations including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), MIMS Learning, www.patient.info and the British Journal of Family Medicine.
Over more recent years, Dr Newson has written an increasing number of articles on women’s health issues including the menopause and its management. Involved in running courses training doctors and nurses about the menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Dr Newson has given lectures nationally and regionally for healthcare professionals.
Dr Newson is the West Midlands lead for the Primary Care Women’s Health Forum and a member of the International Menopause Society and the British Menopause Society. She has been awarded the Advanced Certificate of Menopause Care by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health and is a British Menopause Society menopause specialist, having undergone training from numerous experts including Dr Nick Panay and Dr Sarah Gray.
"I have seen women whose lives have been detrimentally affected by menopausal symptoms, says Dr Newson. Many of my friends are also experiencing similar symptoms, but are confused and often worried about the prospect of taking HRT. Increasingly, I hear stories about women going to ask for advice and support from their own GPs and being told simply to “get on with it” or that they are not able to have HRT (when they actually could take it) or even that they are simply depressed and need anti-depressants (even though they are not clinically depressed).
"I am constantly surprised and disappointed at how little accurate information there is for women to learn about the menopause. The Internet can often be a really powerful resource of medical information, and certainly many other conditions are really well covered with some excellent information for people to access. This is sadly not the case for the menopause, which affects all women.
"Admittedly, around a quarter of women sail through their menopause without any symptoms whatsoever, but these women are clearly in the minority. For the vast majority of us, having menopausal symptoms can be horrendous and can really adversely affect the quality of not only our lives but also those of our partners, families and work colleagues. Although I personally only had symptoms for a few months, I was surprised how dreadful I felt and how difficult I found it to function and carry on with my normal life.
"Being a GP is a really rewarding job and one of the most fulfilling aspects is helping menopausal women. To see women transformed from a person who can no longer function and think clearly, who is shattered from constantly disturbed nights’ sleeps and who is having dreadful mood swings, to a person who is back to functioning normally, with more confidence, better relationships with their partner and having reclaimed their “joie de vivre” is wonderful!"
With all this in mind Dr Newson set up her own menopause clinic in 2016 and later, in 2018, launched the Newson Health Menopause & Wellbeing Centre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Women from any location are able to self-refer to see Dr Newson, or one of her menopause specialist colleagues, to discuss their need for treatment and how HRT may help them to get their lives back on track.
"I realise that not all women will want, or be able, to come and see me in my clinic so I've created the Menopause Doctor website to try and empower women with information about their menopause and the treatments available so they can hopefully have more knowledge and confidence to approach their own GP to ask for help. I also want my website to help other healthcare professionals to be able to access important guidelines and articles so that their experience and knowledge of the menopause can improve and they can in turn help lots of other women."
My Personal Experience of the Menopause
I was cooking in the kitchen and out of the blue I experienced my first hot flush – it was unbearable! One of my daughters (who was 11 at the time) asked me what was wrong as I looked so hot and sweaty and then she asked me why I had been so short tempered with her recently. She even asked if I was due a period as her friends were quite often stroppy before their periods!