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Pausitivity: Woman campaigns to make menopause a hot topic

Karen Kenning, from Moray, has helped create a campaign poster which has gained celebrity support.

A Moray woman aims to make the taboo subject of menopause a hot topic by creating a campaign which has gained celebrity support.

Karen Kenning, from Mosstowie, was discussing the menopause on Twitter before she joined forces with two other women in England and another in Canada to create the 'Pausitivity' campaign.

Now just a month after the group formed, their #KnowYourMenopause poster has struck a chord with celebrities such as author and comedian Jenni Éclair, author Marian Keyes and comedian and actor Helen Lederer.

It has also been adopted by GPs, organisations and businesses across the UK including Manchester City Council, Newcastle NHS and UNISON Wales.

The campaign is in the early stages of being rolled out across Scotland and Karen has been invited to speak on the topic at Holyrood and the Houses of Parliament.

The menopause - when a woman stops having periods - happens to every female and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Sex hormones change as people age - the ovaries stop producing as much oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.

But for many it can come with drastic side-effects and can take years before a woman no longer suffers any symptoms.

Karen says she wants to help others avoid the ill-health that plagued her for years - without her knowing why.

'Menopause wasn't on my radar, and my GPs didn't recognise the symptoms. Women need to know about the menopause and be able to ask their doctors questions.'
Karen Kenning

"I thought I had early onset dementia - I'd forget things mid-sentence; I had to write things down at work.

"I had to have ECGs because I was having heart palpitations. I had a hysterectomy at 34 but it's only now at 50 I am getting Hormone Replacement Therapy and the difference in me is like night and day.

"Menopause wasn't on my radar, and my GPs didn't recognise the symptoms. Women need to know about the menopause and be able to ask their doctors questions."

Karen says there are around 40 recognised symptoms that can be associated with the menopause but they had to select the most common for their poster, such as hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations and mood swings.

They now hope the new poster will be displayed in GP surgeries across the country to encourage conversation and help change women's experiences.

Karen added: "It's a natural part of life but information is what gives you the power to go and do something about it."

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