My Menopause story: Some Meno Musings…

My menopause story…


Portrait of influencers for Shionogi Express Your Femal campaign

Gorgeous women L-R front Vicki, me, Pamela, Amanda, Back L-R Sally & Kathy



Disclosure: This content has been created as part of PAID PARTNERSHIP with Shionogi B.V. for the UK launch of their product Femal. As part of this partnership, I was given a three month supply of Femal to trial.


Meno Musings

Menopause, 9 letters, 3 syllables. A long word with so much meaning, emotion and life hidden within. What does it mean to you? I suspect the answer will depend a lot upon your age. If you are in your 20’s you may think it is the end of life as you know it! Perhaps you are in your 30’s with young children and simply don’t have time to even ponder what it means to you. In your 40’s? Then you may have started researching symptoms and the word peri-menopause will have been on your radar. Perhaps you are in your 50’s, in which case you will probably know all about the symptoms, the causes and be making your choices on menopause management.


The Menopause & Me:

In the past, one of the many challenges with the menopause, has been the lack of conversation around this huge life changing subject. The ‘big M’ has been a taboo subject until now. Today I would say it’s quite the opposite, although we still have a lot to do to get the subject out there. The menopause is at last being talked about, even my 17-year-old son knows a few facts and I intend to further this discussion with him as openly and as naturally as possible.



Recently I was delighted to accept an invitation to take part in a wonderful campaign advocating discussion around the menopause and introducing a new food supplement called Femal.

Femal is sourced from ingredients of natural origin and is designed to support you through the many stages of your menopause.


My Story:

In my early to mid-forties, I thought I was going mad! One minute I could be laughing out loud, the next I could be in tears. I started to forget things, names, dates even my own age (was I 42 or 43?) Lists were the answer, lots of lists!

A list however could not help with my mood swings, my temper or even my lack of patience, something I used to have in abundance. My poor nearest and dearest suffered the most, lack of sleep, due to insomnia was the icing on the cake. Something had to give.

I had my son when I was 37 so most of the other mothers, my friends at the time, were younger than me. Chatting with them about how I felt made me feel worse. They couldn’t empathise, they weren’t at the peri-menopausal stage yet. The months passed and I decided to make a doctor’s appointment.

The Doctors Appointment:

At this point in my story I must add that my doctor and my local surgery are wonderful. In this part of Dorset, we are lucky to have an excellent NHS service. My doctor and I chatted, I explained everything to him. He told me I was probably approaching the menopause; my symptoms were classic, apparently the average age of a woman starting the menopause was 48 (at this point I was 47) Talk about shocked surely, I wasn’t old enough to be starting the menopause? Denial set in, until I had my first hot flush.



Ashley cramp Flatlay for influencers influencers for Shionogi Express Your Femal campaign



How I decided to manage my menopause:

My menopause, yes it was mine all mine! And no one was going to tell me how to manage it. Not my doctor, not the media and not the authors of all the books I had been reading either. My body, my health. I was going to do it my way.My doctor gave me some information and provided me with my choices for managing the ‘big M’. I returned home and started my own research.

My mind set:

First, I decided the Menopause was not my enemy, it was not a disease to be ‘cured’, it was a part of my life, like puberty in reverse perhaps? A stage of life that I was lucky to have lived long enough to be able to experience.

For me, this was not going to be the end of anything, it was going to be the start of something new. My family needed me less and I had the time at last to do and be anything I wanted! I now had more time for me!

Support wise, I thought about HRT for about two seconds and disregarded it. I was going to take the natural route.

The Major Symptoms:

I’m not going to go into the hormonal technical aspect in this post, you can find out that for yourself anywhere. This is merely my story… insomnia, weight gain and hot flushes: these were the things that I felt I had no control over. These were the hardest for me to handle.

My solutions:

For weight gain: I had never had a weight problem, never dieted and my weight had remained the same for most of my adult life. Things were about to change, I switched to a more sensible diet, less cakes more veg, simple.

Hot flushes and insomnia: These two came together, the hot flushes woke me up! I changed all our bedding to pure cotton. The heating was turned off during the night and we slept with the windows open. I also started to exercise more, which made me tired and helped with the weight gain.

Mood swings: Funnily enough when I knew my mood swings and impatience were a major symptom of the menopause, they were easier to handle. To put it simply I knew ‘it was me not them’ and my family breathed a collective sigh of relief!


Femal, A Food Supplement:

From my research, I knew that my body and the changes it was going through now needed a little finer tuning. I was already eating a healthier diet, which was helping with my lack of energy and weight gain. So now I turned to alternatives that could further help support me during all stages of the menopause. Here I must emphasise that the menopause is different for everyone, so what works for me may not work for you!

Now I am taking a food supplement called Femal, which has just launched in the UK. Sourced from natural ingredients, Femal is designed to support me throughout the many stages of my menopause.



Portrait of influencers for Shionogi Express Your Femal campaign



The details:

New to the UK, Femal is a once-daily food supplement which contributes to wellbeing during the menopause

Femal has been shown to support women through different phases of the menopause, which may include hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, low mood and insomnia.

Femal is hormone-free. Its active ingredient consists of PureCyTonin® complexes (purified pollen extract), sourced from natural origins. Femal also contains Vitamin E

After 12 weeks of using Femal, 93% of women believed that Femal was “very effective” or “effective” during the menopause.

Femal costs £26.20 for a one-month supply and is available from


My verdict:

At 55 I am classed as post-menopausal. I still suffer from hot flushes and I will be taking Femal for at least 3 months in order to feel the benefits. So far so good, my hot flushes are less frequent!


My advice to anyone approaching Menopause:


Talk, talk, talk about it! Visit your GP, it will put your mind at rest. Your surgery may even have a nurse who specialises in the menopause. The more you know the better choices you can make. Will you decide on the alternative route like me, or will you try HRT? The choice really is yours.

Be positive the menopause, can be the start of something new, don’t feel it is the end of life as you know it.

Take more care of your health at this special time in your life, take more time for yourself!

Don’t take it too seriously, remember to laugh at yourself, you may end up doing some strange things. I went to the post office oblivious to the fact I was wearing odd shoes, one yellow and one blue!


Express Your Femal!





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Don’t Forget You Can Also Find Me On Bloglovin Here & I Have Started A Brand New Instagram Account  Too!


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  1. Amanda Start
    14/05/2019 / 09:47

    Ashley I love how positive you were from the outset, once you had that understanding and knew what was happening to you. And that I think is key – if we get support and understand it all more, it becomes less of the taboo monster. I think having knowledge about it is to take away its negative power. I know the next few years wont be easy by a long shot but to feel that you can help and take a little control along the way is so so good!
    Amanda xx

    • Ashley
      14/05/2019 / 13:03

      My thought exactly Amanda, its the not knowing and not having any relevant information to understand it.
      I can reassure you its not as bad as you think, its just part of life right?
      So wonderful to have finally met you in real life too and added bonus!
      bestest wishes
      Ashley xx

  2. 14/05/2019 / 09:06

    Mood swings and hot flushes! They were the worst for me. Femal sounds interesting and I’m sure this would help so many women out there experiencing the same problems that come along with the menopause. I will spread the word for you.

  3. 14/05/2019 / 08:05

    I find it really fascinating how everyone’s experience of menopause is so individual. It’s such an important subject, we should definitely be talking about it more.

    • Ashley
      14/05/2019 / 17:53

      I often wonder why it came to be such a taboo subject?
      I learnt so much from talking about it with you all…
      bestest wishes
      Ashley x

  4. 14/05/2019 / 08:03

    Excellent post Ashley, I love your positivity. And I too love a list! Love Vx

    • Ashley
      14/05/2019 / 17:54

      Ahahaaa a fellow list maker, why didnt I know that before? I should have guessed!
      bestest wishes
      Ashley x