Diane regularly appears on radio and television to discuss menopause and how women often need support. Recently she has appeared on the following programmes, plus many others.
Di Danzebrink’s story of surgically induced early menopause was told to help raise awareness of just how stigmatised, overlooked and trivialised women’s health issues have been treated historically and in the hope that in the future no other woman has to endure a similar experience. For historical context I highly recommend A history of the modern menopause written by Louise Foxcroft.
This video was broadcast and released on social media as part of the BBC’s “Hear Her” project, showcasing women’s voices in a dedicated season of content across TV, radio and online to mark 100 years since suffrage and the centenary anniversary of women being able to vote in the UK. See more about the season here.
Menopause “not a disability”
Diane took to the airwaves on ITV’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show to take part in a discussion about the case of a menopausal woman who was unfairly sacked by her employers – the Scottish court service – then compensated and reinstated after a tribunal which found she was suffering from a ‘disability’.
Di told hosts Richard Madeley and Charlotte Hawkins that menopause was certainly not a disability, and that there was a need for greater awareness of the subject.
According to the Daily Mail, Mandy Davies had worked for the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service (SCTS) for 20 years with an impeccable record. But she was sacked last year on the grounds of gross misconduct and that she did not exhibit ‘the values and behaviours’ of the organisation.
She brought legal action against SCTS claiming she had been discriminated against because of a disability – a painful and disruptive menopause. But she got her job back along with a £19,000 payout after an employment tribunal ruled her menopause was a ‘disability’.
Mail journalist Liz Jones also appeared on the programme. She had written a critical article on the case and said menopausal women should “stop moaning”.
Di said she had recently been in touch with three NHS nurses with menopausal symptoms who had been forced to leave their jobs. Given that 77 per cent of the NHS workforce, she argued, we can ill afford to lose skilled workers for this reason.
Couples “losing relationships and women their jobs”
Couples are losing their relationships and women their jobs because of symptoms of menopause, and the situation is so severe the economy is being affected, Diane told a Northern Ireland audience on the BBC Radio Ulster afternoon show.
Responding to an initiative by the Northern Ireland Police Service to develop a code around the menopause affecting all employees, she said it was vital we raise awareness of menopause in the workplace generally.
Businesses and organisations are losing valuable members of staff because people can’t talk about the subject and any situation where a woman needs to leave her job is not good for her, for her family or for her business.
“It’s something we should all be talking about, men and women – if you have a wife, a mother, an auntie or a sister, then you need to know about menopause symptoms” she added.
Di suggested businesses who wanted to know more about the issues and how to apply them in the workplace should download a document from the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, with guidance aimed at women going through menopause and experiencing the impact it has on their working lives. It also offers employers practical guidance on how to improve workplace environments for menopausal women. See link to website here. The full document can be downloaded here.
Sparks flew in the BBC Radio 5 Live studio in April when menopause campaigners and senior medical professionals got together to talk about menopause.
The afternoon programme, with presenter Nihal Arthanayake, was being guest-edited by Meg Matthews, former wife of rock superstar Noel Gallagher and now a menopause campaigner following her own personal experiences of the condition.
Menopause Support founder Diane Danzebrink and GP and menopause expert Dr. Louise Newson were also on hand to take questions from a phone-in audience.
The discussion became a little more heated when Professor Helen Stokes – Lampard, (pictured left) Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the UK’s largest Medical Royal College, representing over 52,000 family doctors across the UK, joined the conversation. You can hear the discussion here (from around 45 minutes in).
“The medical profession’s getting a bit of a roasting” presenter Nihal commented during the show.
“I had written to the RCGP and had a pretty unhelpful response so I wanted to make Helen understand the real struggle many menopause sufferers have getting the right kind of treatment, and my experience of doctors who have insufficient training – and I think I got my points across. Her advice is that if you are unhappy with the treatment provided by your GP you should look elsewhere – this is not a practical proposition for so many women, and there were plenty of raised eyebrows in the studio as she said that.” Di said afterwards.
The whole discussion can be heard on the iplayer. Di joins the discussion around 28 minutes into the programme.
We don’t talk about menopause within families…
In an interview for the BBC World Service Business Daily, Diane said the subject is becoming a particular issue in the workplace where we are now seeing more women over 50.
“I regularly hear from women who fear seeming inadequate in their roles or are simply embarrassed to mention their systems – if it’s an environment where menopause is not recognised, they don’t feel they can talk about it” she added.
Huge mental and emotional fluctuations for some women following early menopause
Women who have early menopause following a hysterectomy or other procedure can suffer mental and emotional fluctuations afterwards, Menopause Support founder Diane Danzebrink told a Scottish radio audience.
Phoning into the breakfast programme on BBC Radio Scotland, Di said that some women in this position need to work through a loss and grief process.
“You are experiencing the physical loss of a part of you and also experiencing a loss of potential for carrying your child. If that was a part of your game plan, something you always wanted, there may be a loss and grief process you need to address” she added.
The programme can be heard here. Di’s interview on the 16th February comes near the end of the programme, around one hour and 45 minutes in.
Facts, not just our experiences needed if we are to help women through Menopause
The programme heard from a number of menopausal women who discussed their own experiences.
Di said later: “It’s fantastic that the broadcast media are taking the subject of menopause so seriously but we do need to get across the facts and how people suffering these symptoms can be helped to overcome them.
“Those suffering need to know their options when talking to their doctors, and very often they need longer than the five or ten minutes they get with their own doctor to find out where they are and help to determine the next steps.”
Often tough Choices for women in the workplace
BBC Woman’s Hour listeners heard about a professional woman who had been forced to leave her job because of her menopause symptoms. Now two years unemployed, she has suffered severe financial hardship and is only know beginning to rebuild her life.
Diane was taking part in a discussion on Menopause in the workplace with presenter Jenni Murray and other interviewees on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour . She recounted the story having come across the woman involved in a counselling session.
The programme was told that a BBC poll found 70 per cent of women chose not to mention their menopause symptoms to their employer. Some were made redundant, some chose to leave, while some had a positive response from managers and work colleagues.
The solution all round is for better education, possibly as early as school, so women would know what to expect in later years, employers and work colleagues also. Diane also stressed that there should be more education about menopause for General practitioners.
“GP’s are generalists – I absolutely accept that. But what could be more general than something that affects 50 per cent of the entire population?” she added.
The discussion can be heard on the BBC iPlayer . The menopause discussion starts eight minutes into the programme.
Speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire’s breakfast programme, Diane told presenter Graham Liver that around a quarter of women will experience debilitating menopause symptoms that may affect their quality of life., But the good news was that there was more information available for sufferers than ever before, on websites such as this one.
Diane said she was working with groups of staff and managers inside companies to help them understand and deal with menopause issues in the workplace to counter a disturbing trend where companies are losing valuable members of staff who would rather leave than deal with a workplace environment that hinders rather than helps their problems. Click on the image or go here to hear the interview on the BBC iplayer. Diane can be heard around 2 hours and 15 minutes into the broadcast.
Later, Diane told BBC West Midlands show host Alex Lester that there were many psychological symptoms of menopause, something that has made it a “taboo subject” even among friends as well as in workplaces.
“My grandmother handled her menopause behind closed doors but she did not have to cope with the workplace as well – when you don’t know what is happening to you it can be really, really scary” she added.
Menopause affects 50 per cent of the population directly but can also affect many more, notably partners and employers. Doctors often do not have much training in menopause issues and can sometimes offer antidepressants rather than treat underlying causes.
Click on the image or go here to hear the interview on the BBC iplayer. Diane can be heard around 1 hours and 57 minutes into the broadcast.
Diane joins leading menopause warriors on podcast
Diane was interviewed for the Radio Gorgeous podcast, described as “An in-depth interview with the UKs leading menopause warriors who want to change the change! Josephine Pembroke talks to Samantha Evans from Jo Divine sex toys, Sam is an ex nurse and writer and commentator on all things sexual – especially women over 40. And Diane Danzebrink who is a life coach and therapist. She is a member of the British Menopause Society Women’s Voices Involvement Panel. She is a lay spokesperson on Menopause for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and an ambassador for the British Menopause Society.”
You can also hear the podcast on the Radio Gorgeous site.
Diane was a visitor to Kat Orman’s show on BBC Radio Oxford in the Autumn, phoning in to tell her story as part of a discussion with other callers and studio guests. The show can be heard on demand here.
Diane and Dr. Louise Newson took part in a live Channel 5 News discussion segment for World Menopause Day, hosted by Sian Williams.
The menopause caused some of the women involved in the panel discussion to lose their memory or even consider taking their own life – they were sharing their experiences to help end the stigma on World Menopause Day.
Diane commented after the discussion: ” This is why I wanted to start Menopause Support” .
With calls for women going through the menopause to receive special treatment at work, the “Lorraine” morning programme on ITV invited Diane to discuss the life-changing effects it can have on women and whether more should be done to help.
Presenter Christine Bleakley was joined on the sofa by Lorraine Hegarty, who believes the menopause cost her the job she loved, and Diane who is founder of Menopause Support UK.
Dr Hilary Jones was also on hand to answer questions from viewers about menopause in his live open surgery.
The interview can be seen on the Lorraine website.
The Daily Mail took up the cudgels with Facebook over the banning of our menopause workshop ad for the October 2017 event – but although the social media platform admitted it had made a mistake, no apology has to date been received by Menopause Support.
The Mail story can be seen here. The story has also been covered by the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, which circulates in Tetbury, the location of our 1st October event.
Facebook did not defend their decision to ban our advert for a workshop on Menopause in Tetbury in October 2017 when the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire invited them to appear on her morning news and current affairs show. Instead a former company employee was left to defend the platform. Diane was there to take part in the show, and spoke forcefully about her anger that Facebook arbitrarily banned the ad because it contained the word “libido”. Followers of the Menopause Support’s Facebook page posted some angry responses and the story has been widely shared.
Di’s interview can be seen below.
Facebook banned a menopause support advert because it had the word “libido” in it… ♀ pic.twitter.com/ol6ZsgocBr
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) July 20, 2017
Diane talked to Radio London’s Drivetime presenter Eddie Nestor about her experience of menopause as part of a live phone-in early evening show in June 2017 – the programme can be heard on the BBC iPlayer.
Diane took part in a studio discussion for the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire programme, with presenter Joanna Gosling, Kirsty Wark and three other interviewees. The session became rather heated at times!
Diane was interviewed via phone-in on the BBC Radio Five Live evening show . Husband Martin joined her to discuss what life was like following her own menopause experiences – here is a short clip from the programme. If you would like to hear the whole menopause discussion with other interviewees, you can find it here on our Soundcloud channel.
Diane was interviewed for ITV’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show about her experience of HRT therapy.
Diane was interviewed about her experiences of menopause by Karen Bell of ITV News when the British Menopause Society appealed for more awareness about the condition.
Diane took part in a Radio 4 programme about menopause experiences presented by Dr Aarathi Prasad in 2015.
Juliet Bremner of ITV News talked to Diane about her experiences for the lunchtime news in 2015.
Diane took part in a discussion around menopause on the Victoria Derbyshire BBC2 morning programme in 2015.