A group of women are “breaking the last taboo” with a monthly ‘Menopause Café’.
The sessions, currently held at Blackwood Garden Centre, began one year ago and give women the chance to talk about their experiences of the menopause, offer help and advice and share their stories.
Held on the first Monday of each month, the sessions begin with a 40-minute walk and talk around St David’s Wood before an hour-long discussion about the menopause and other related issues.
Part of an international movement, the first menopause café was held in Scotland in 2017, with groups now up and running across the UK, as well as in Canada and the United States.
Founder of the Blackwood Menopause Café, Geraldine Norris, said: “There is no agenda or structure or even pressure to buy anything. That is why it works so well.
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“You know you are not on your own when you come here. Any support group works like that.”
Ms Norris added: “We’ve gone from strength to strength and I think it’ll continue to grow. We’re meeting a need.
“All women will experience the menopause, and some experience it younger than others. There’s a big need for more of this.”
Group member Mandi Everson, 49, said a GP misdiagnosed her menopause as depression and prescribed her antidepressants.
She said: “I thought I was going crazy. Now I’m trying to talk to other people. My mission is that no one will be in this situation again.”
Eight women attended the group’s first ever meeting a year ago, with around ten to 15 women now regularly attending the sessions.
The ages of the women who attend the group meetings range from late 40s to late 70s.
Currently it is the only menopause café in Caerphilly County Borough.
It meets on the first Monday of every month in the Potting Shed Café at the Blackwood Garden Centre from 9.30am to 11.30am.