Menopause has long been a taboo. But when it happens before you expect it to and as part of lifesaving cancer treatment, it's even harder to get the support you need. It can feel like something that shouldn't be bothering your doctors with. It can be something that's brushed under the rug completely - by those experiencing symptoms and by medical professionals. But the impacts of menopause and its associated symptoms are massive.

So we decided we needed to do something about it. Too many people were being left languishing, struggling with unpredictable periods, vaginal dryness, libido that had gone walkabout, mood swings to rival a Pirate Ship ride at a theme park and tonnes of other things to boot. And they weren't always feeling heard by their medical teams. So we brought in the big guns. Experts who've been in the field and walked the walk. And we created our Navigating Menopause programme to start demystifying the topic.

And here's how it made a difference to those who attended:

I felt seen

Where do I start?! Trekstock's menopause programme was brilliant. Jemima and Dani were brilliant, brilliant hosts. Wise, encouraging, funny, compassionate. I really feel that you both made the course what it was.

I found the last session particularly moving - when Dani asked Kate what natural menopause was like and then used this answer to remind us that we have that with cancer on top and how difficult it is - I haven't heard anyone else express this so it was amazing to hear it.

Meeting others, speaking to them, hearing that they are going through some of the same as what I am going through was extremely valuable. I felt seen and I related to so much of what was said.

During the last part of the last session I had a bit of a moment and thought 'how did I get here' and then felt very emotional. Being plunged into surgical menopause with 24h notice and then very little support since has been a whirlwind and I've very much been just getting on with it. This course has helped me connect with myself and made me realise I have some stuff to process that I didn't know was lurking there. 

"It can be daunting to begin to talk about how cancer and the menopause is affecting you, but Trekstock have created a beautifully comfortable community to do it in."

It's the first time someone has discussed this

I found all the sessions on Trekstock's menopause programme helpful. It has been the first time someone has discussed this element of my treatment with me. I found some elements very educational. I also found it very emotional to know I wasn't the only one to experience this and to feel the support.

I can't explain how much I appreciate your help

It’s 3 years since I went through the menopause and no one from my oncology team or GP have taken any responsibility when it comes to helping me navigate it. It’s taken a few sessions with you guys to feel more educated and informed when it comes to my options and I can’t explain how much I appreciate your help.

It's made me feel less alone

I wish I had access to all this information at the very start of my menopause journey. I can't believe this guidance and education isn't provided by the NHS to young adults with cancer and we're left to seek it out ourselves, if at all. Thank you so much for putting this together. It's made me feel less alone. I wish it didn't have to end!

"Hearing the experts explain how they too struggled but managed to find different ways to help their symptoms gave me so much more confidence and hope for my future."