Sat, Sep 18, 2021
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Wellness for women with Dr Sarah Callaghan

The conversation around menopause has finally begun!

Joe Duffy and Davina McCall have recently shone a light on a still too often taboo area of women’s health.

Now it’s time to get the facts with Dr Sarah Callaghan, a GP specialising in women’s health at Complete Women’s Health, Donaghmede.

We put it out there to take your questions, and they have been flooding in!

If you have a question for Dr Sarah send it to us by emailing

For more resources on menopause issues, visit

Q: Dear Dr Sarah
I am a 47 year old woman and I have been feeling really irritable and not sleeping well for the past year. I’m not sure if it is just all the stress with Covid but my periods are also coming closer together and getting heavier. Could I be going through the menopause? Is there anything I can do to try and improve my sleep? It is making it very hard to cope at work and home.

A: Dear Mary,
It has been a tough year for sure but I do think some of the symptoms which you are describing may be related to hormone changes. Menopause is the word used to describe that time in your life when your oestrogen (the female hormone) levels are dropping. This can cause a wide variety of symptoms such as mood changes, sleep disturbance, hot flushes and many others. It may also affect your periods causing heavier flow and cycles to become closer together or further apart. Many people don’t realize that menopause symptoms can affect you before your periods actually stop. It is best to talk to a doctor specialising in women’s health to look at your whole story and figure out an individualised treatment plan for you.
Good luck!

Q: Dear Dr Sarah,
I have been listening to all the talk about menopause. I’m 57 now and I think I need HRT but I’m not sure if I am too old at this stage. My periods stopped about four years ago and since then I have had really bad hot flushes day and night. I feel tired all the time, lots of headaches and have no interest in sex anymore. This is really affecting my relationship.
Is there any treatment that you think might help?

A: Dear Nicola,
Good news! Yes, there are treatments. You can safely start HRT up to the age of 60 years. HRT contains oestrogen. The symptoms you are experiencing occur because your body is low in oestrogen. You will need a full assessment to figure out the best treatment plan for you. HRT is great at improving the symptoms you describe as well as protecting you against heart disease and osteoporosis.
Don’t delay!

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