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Dr Shahzadi Harper

There are 34 symptoms of the menopause, yet over 70% of men can't name more than one of them.

In a study to coincide with World Menopause Day on 18th October, menopause brand Pelviva asked men aged between 45-54 to identify the menopausal symptoms which effect millions of women nationwide. Their answers, or lack of them, were disappointing and while confusing heat stroke with hot flushes can be forgiven, their citing shoplifting and ‘craziness’ left experts baffled at best.

With 34 symptoms to contend with, the menopause is no joke. Yet arguably, it’s taboos around discussing these issues that can make the experience ten times worse for sufferers.

Menopause doctor, Dr Shahzadi Harper from the Harper Clinic in London states, ‘Speaking with a partner should be first port of call, still many women feel gagged by feelings of embarrassment. On the face of it, menopause needn’t be a miserable time though: every day, life-changing new products are being developed. Unfortunately, it’s popular opinion that needs attention.’

She goes on to cite Pelviva as one such example of a pioneering new product. Developed in conjunction with Professor Jaqueline Oldham, of Manchester University, Pelviva is an alternative treatment for urinary stress, urgency and mixed incontinence. After just 3 weeks, 80% of women reported benefits from using this medical device, which works to tone pelvic floor muscles, enabling better control over bladder leakage. Its unique technology works naturally with the body, causing the pelvic floor muscles to contract, mimicking pelvic floor exercises.

In the UK, 2 in 3 women over the age of 40 experience urinary incontinence, a condition that can leave them feeling debilitated, embarrassed and unable to engage in day-to-day activities. For these millions of women, the physical and psychological impact upon their lives can be huge. And with incontinence products like pads working to normalise urinary incontinence amongst women by treating the symptoms, instead of going to the root of the problem, it’s no wonder that people who experience the condition feel controlled by their issue and not the other way around.

Janine Joseph, a keen cyclist and fitness instructor, says, ‘My pelvic floor weakness and resulting urinary incontinence issues were a source of continuous background worry for me. Using Pelviva enabled me not only to take conscious control of the physical side of my condition, but to address the phycological element – understanding my body better and taking an active approach has done me a world of good.’

Dr Shahzadi Harper says, ‘Of all the menopausal symptoms, urinary incontinence is possibly the biggest taboo of all. I want to change this! If we broaden discussion and make women aware that Pelviva exists we can make a positive difference to women’s health and wellbeing.”

Editor’s Notes

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