The Merry Menopause Book Club PODCAST

Join me in conversation with the authors of the books that have inspired me, educated me and got me talking. 

Season 2

Wednesday 23rd June 2021
Dr Philippa Kaye
The M Word
Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause

In this episode, I am in conversation with Dr Philippa Kaye, GP and author. 

Philippa has a weekly column in Woman magazine and you may recognise her from her regular appearances on ITV’s, This Morning. 

The M Word is a complete one-stop guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause, covering everything from understanding symptoms and managing relationships to figuring out which treatments really work.

We have dedicated this episode to the complex and controversial subject of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Please join us as we discuss:-

  • Why Philippa felt compelled to write The M Word
  • Myth-busting the flawed study from 20 years ago that linked HRT to breast cancer
  • The risks and the benefits of HRT explained 
  • When to start HRT and when to stop
  • Vaginal Oestrogen
  • Why HRT might not work be working for you
  • Side effects of HRT
  • Libido – it’s not just hormones that could be affecting your sex drive- Looking at Menopause as a ‘long term oestrogen deficiency’
  • Why HRT is not one size fits all
  • How to get the most from your GP and your surgery
  • Complimentary therapies
  • Sequential and Continuous Combined HRT
  • Post Menopausal bleeding
  • Smears – the importance and how to make them a better experience
  • Don’t think you are a candidate for HRT? The importance of discussing your eligibility and your options with your GP
  • How do I know that I’m ready for HRT?
  • The first signs of Perimenopause
  • Premature Menopause.
  • An empowering Menopause anecdote.


Dr Philippa’s book choices

Everything That Makes Us Human by Jay Jayamohan

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy


You will find these and a selection of my favourite books here 

Wednesday 30th June 2021
Jackie Lynch
The Happy Menopause
Smart Nutrition to Help You Flourish

In this episode, I am joined by Jackie Lynch author of The Happy Menopause and host of The Happy Menopause Podcast. 

Jackie discovered the power of nutrition 15 years ago when she followed personalised nutritional advice and experienced first-hand the dramatic changes in her energy well being and performance. This led her to give up her senior corporate role and study at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. 

As a Registered Nutritional Therapist, she founded the WellWellWell Clinic providing expert advice and specialising in women’s health and nutrition.

The Happy Menopause is a stress-busting, hormone balancing approach to Menopause. 

Join Jackie and me as we discuss:-

  • Why stress is the enemy of the Menopause
  • Why adrenal health is so vital
  • Nutrition 101 – How and why we need to keep our blood sugar balanced
  • insulin
  • Managing our symptoms through diet 
  • How to manage our weight
  • What we should be eating
  •  Refined, hidden sugars
  •  Our secret weapon balancing protein and fibre
  • The impact of alcohol
  • The way Menopause is experienced in different cultures due to their diet
  • Menopause friendly family meals
  • Don’t feel guilty about using frozen foods!


Jackie’s book choice

The Age Well Plan by Susan Saunders


You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 

Wednesday 7th July  2021
Kim McCabe
From Daughter to Woman
Parenting girls safely through their teens

In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking to Kim McCabe, author of From Daughter to Woman’  a guide to parenting girls safely through their teens.

Kim is a child development expert and founder-director of the non-profit organisation Rites for Girls.

She studied psychology at Cambridge University, before training as a counsellor for distressed teens and has spent thirty years working preventatively to make girls’ journey through adolescence safer, kinder and better supported. 

A mother of three, Kim believes we can each make a difference; by creating community and circles of support, with adults taking responsibility for guiding tomorrow’s women, a grounded revolution changing the world for everyone.

Join Kim and me as we discuss:-

  • The importance of the puberty rite of passage if we went to have happy, healthy young adults join our adult communities and the impact of not recognising this importance of this critical stage of life.
  • Why we should be asking our young girls what they think about becoming women and listening to their answers.
  • Why so many young girls don’t name their mothers as future role models and what we can do about that.
  • Children don’t do what we say, they do what we do. 
  • Menarche, Pregnancy, Menopause – the three stages in a woman’s life where she is called into action.
  • Introducing the gift of the menstrual cycle to our girls to educate them and so alleviate any nervousness they may have around starting their periods.
  • Our culture doesn’t honour the cycle, but if we can menstruate well and have healthy and happy cycles we will enter into Menopause in a healthier way
  • Menopause and raising children.
  • Consent. Why we need to teach our children to trust their feelings and their instinct rather than their thoughts and how this can help to keep them safe.
  • The increase in anxiety amongst young girls and how that shows up in their behaviour.
  • Why as adults we should not be ignoring feelings of unhappiness and what happens when we do.
  • Our cycle Post Menopause.
  • As a mother how you can co-create a Rite of Passage with your daughter 
  • Creating a ‘village’ – the importance of adults in a young person’s life

Kim’s book choice

The Happy Manifesto – by Henry Stewart


You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 


Wednesday 14th July  2021
Sophie Fletcher

Mindful Menopause

How to have a calm and positive Menopause

In this episode, I am joined by Sophie Fletcher clinical hypnotherapist and author of Mindful Menopause.

Sophie specialises in women’s wellbeing at transitional stages of their lives and her focus is the body and mind connection, exploring thoughts and feelings that may arise at times of vulnerability giving practical, everyday tools that make a difference.

We are controlled by the challenging cultural narrative that surrounds Menopause and Perimenopause, join Sophie and me as we discuss how changing our perception and our mindset can have such a huge impact on our wellbeing.

In this episode you will learn:-

  • How to change your perception of Menopause
  • How to take back control 
  • How learned behaviours are based on environment
  • How to re-write your story and plan your Menopause
  • How to re-frame thoughts and experiences so you can approach your symptoms in a more positive way
  • How to manage anxiety
  • Why Menopause is an opportunity to learn about yourself in a deeper way
  • The How… tackling those unconscious blocks that stop you doing what you know you should be doing 
  • How to be in control of your choices 
  • Why broadening your knowledge and understanding of Menopause is the key to a Merry Menopause
  • Why mindset work is much simpler than you may think
  • Why our history and culture has re-written the reverence that comes with being an older woman
  • Menopause can be a lonely time, why it’s so important to find and connect with women who are having a similar experience
  • The importance of seeking out those that are approaching their Menopause transition in a positive way
  • Why you should plan your Menopause like you plan work and personal goals
  • How do you want to be when you are in your 60s and 70s? Why we need to lay the foundations now
  • Hair Loss – Sophie talks about her own experience and shares her advice. 


Sophie’s Book Choice

 Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman


You will find this and a selection of my favourite books here 


You can download 10 of Sophie’s meditations for FREE here 

Wednesday 28th July  2021
Emma Bardwell

The Perimenopause Solution

Take Control of You Hormones Before They Take Control of You

My guest on the penultimate episode of S2 is Emma Bardwell registered nutritionist and member of the British Menopause Society. Her evidence-based approach, coupled with an ongoing interest in Perimenopause and Menopause has made her one of the go-to names in women’s health.

Emma is deeply anti-fad and doesn’t care for restriction, believing in positive rather than perfect nutrition and together with Dr Shahzadi Harper she has written today’s book choice, The Perimenopause Solution.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Pro ageing and “Tweakments” – being unapologetic and acknowledging that our appearance does change as our collagen starts to deplete.
  • Why saying ‘no’ should be on prescription for Perimenopausal women.
  • Stress – one of the main drivers behind our symptoms and how it can override the positive effects of HRT.
  • The rise of eating disorders in midlife – the importance of knowing what to eat and how to exercise.
  • Auditing our life – removing toxic habits and toxic people.
  • Alcohol – the pros and the cons.
  • Why our metabolism changes – the impact that has on what we eat and drink.
  • The benefits of therapy and coaching – dealing with feelings that may surface and the changes that are happening.
  • The next generation – we are setting the example for them, let’s show today’s young women how utterly brilliant we are.
  • Understanding the gut/brain connection – how crucial this is in Perimenopause
  • Listening to our bodies – being intuitive and picking up on the signals and clues we are being sent.
  • Make change if it is calling but don’t act on impulse! – the importance of talking things through with friends or seeking out a supportive community online. 


Emma’s Book Choices

Dr Lisa Mosconi – The XX Brain
Kimberly Wilson – How To Build A Healthy Brain


Find out more about Emma Bardwell here

Wednesday 4th August  2021
Sarah Chadwick

The Sweetness of Venus

A History of The Clitoris

My last guest of Season 2 is the wonderful Sarah Chadwick author of The Sweetness of Venus. A History of the Clitoris.

Challenging today’s definition of female sexuality, The Sweetness of Venus is a provocative, straight-talking and rigorously researched history exposing the denial, misunderstanding and brutality endured by this taboo body part.

Sarah has a teaching background is currently a guest researcher at Chicago’s LOYOLA University, splitting her life between the US and UK. She has been described as “an articulate and compassionate spokeswoman for a new generation of women”

In her own words Sarah “Wanted her book to be pleasurable like good sex. For it to be friendly, funny, compassionate, inclusive of men and a bridge between academic research and knowledge. A book that people would pick up and have pleasure reading.” – I think she achieved it all. 

Join us as we discuss:- 

  • The historic shame around women’s sexual pleasure 
  • The complicated and conflicting history of the clitoris
  • The Victorians – the fear and threat around women having sexual agency
  • 1844 – A breakthrough in Clitoral recognition!
  • The tip of the Clitoral iceberg – do you really know what it looks like and just how big it is?
  • Think you know the meaning of the world ‘frigid’, think again
  • Freud and his part in defining that there is a difference between a vaginal and Clitoral orgasm.
  • Historically Dr’s putting forward the idea that proper sexual function was through penetrative sex only and any other way was a treatable physiological disorder
  • Why we need to broaden the definition of what quantifies as sex to become more inclusive and healthier for everybody
  • Today’s teenagers having more oral and anal sex than ever before in the name of ‘not having sex’ 
  • The difference in sex education in the UK and the US and why we are still not teaching it right. 
  • The narrative that women are wired for reproduction and men are wired for sex
  • Shere Hite’s groundbreaking survey in the 70s about women’s sexual pleasure and desire. 
  • Sarah’s own frustrating experience with three gynaecologists trying to get her orgasm back post menopause
  • The effect the dominant narrative that women’s sexual function is purely for reproduction has on Menopausal women stepping into their sexual power 
  • How the taboo around reproduction vs pleasure has been so incredibly damaging to women in their 50s and beyond
  • Viagra – *eye roll * men haven’t had to fight for their continued sexual function. 
  • Bicycle design, train travel, sewing machines and their connection to the female orgasm and masturbation!


Sarah’s book choices

Invisible Women – Caroline Crado Perez

The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy


You can find more of Sarah on Instagram @its.Personalgirls 

Season 1

Wednesday 27th April 2021
Ruth Devlin
Men… Let’s Talk Menopause
Ruth Devlin Men Let's Talk Menopause

In this episode, I talk to Ruth Devlin, Registered Nurse and founder of Let’s Talk Menopause, which she set up in response to the conflicting advice she received during her Perimenopause. 

Ruth has gone on to raise awareness and provide accurate and helpful information on Menopause, through her courses, guest speaking at events and appearances on TV and Radio.

She is passionate about health and wellbeing and the importance of helping to prevent ill health, as well as, specialising in Menopause, She works within the public, private and third sectors. 

Ruth has also written a book, Men…Let’s Talk Menopause, and that is why I asked Ruth to be my guest so we can discuss this very important subject and open up the conversation around Men and Menopause. Join us as we discuss:-

  • Why and how Ruth came to writing this essential guide 
  • Starting the conversation around Menopause at home and work
  • Why we shouldn’t be underestimating the men in our lives and how much they want to know and understand Menopause. 
  • The impact of workplace awareness around Menopause and how the benefit of this will spill into personal relationships.
  • The right and the wrong way for a man to approach the subject of hormonal health and how not to trigger a reaction!
  • The male midlife change and how the lifestyle changes we need to make to support our Menopause they need to be making as well
  • The importance of men doing their pelvic floor – “nuts to guts’!
  • It’s your body, and your quality of life depends on how you look after it. Why are we not educated in a more empowering way so we can learn just how much control we have over our health and wellbeing?
  • HRT and its sensationalisation 
  • How to get the most out of an appointment with your GP
  • The 2010 equality act – how is your organisation supporting women and their Menopause?

Ruth’s Recommendations:- 

The Squeezy app

BMS  – British Menopause Society 

Living Well Through Menopause – Myra Hunter and Melanie Smith

The Happy Menopause – Jackie Lynch

Wednesday 21st April 2021
 Maryon Stewart 
Manage Your Menopause Naturally

Find Yourself Again with a Natural Approach to a Natural Transition


In this episode, I talk to one of the pioneers of natural Menopause management the formidable Maryon Stewart. A font of knowledge and true expert in the field of hormones, PMS and Menopause. Her latest book is a six-week, self-coaching program and I guarantee that after listening to this episode you will be informed, inspired and ready to take control of your wellbeing.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The first science-based recognition of natural Menopause solutions and the start of Maryon’s career.
  • Menopause in the workplace, how it is still such a problem for many organisations and their employees.
  • Maryon’s collaboration with Virgin Health and Loughborough University to bring out an economic model showing the cost of Menopause to businesses when they lose their female talent because they are not supporting them. 
  • Maryon’s six-week Mid Life Re-Fuel that is helping so many women to turn their lives around.
  • How we can trick our brain into thinking we still have naturally occurring, circulating oestrogen and thus getting rid of many of the common symptoms of Menopause.
  • The effect of being deficient in minerals that so many women are unaware of.
  • How easy it is to fill up our empty oestrogen receptors with naturally occurring oestrogen which can prevent fibroids, cysts, endometriosis and many Menopause symptoms.
  • Supplementation – the do’s and don’ts 
  • Menopause symptoms and mental health
  • How important it is to nurture ourselves at this midlife crossroad and make the small, but essential adjustments to our lifestyle choices so we can kick start ourselves for a healthily and happy life during and beyond Menopause 

You can find out more about Maryon’s six- week programme by reading the book and at

Wednesday 13th April 2021
Dr Annice Mukherjee
The Complete Guide To The Menopause

Your Toolkit to Take Control and Achieve  Life-Long Health 


In this episode I chat with Dr Annice Mukherjee top hormone consultant with over 30 years of experience helping women achieve hormone balance and renewed vitality before, during and after the menopause. 

Join us we discuss:

  • Dr Annice’s own personal journey following her breast cancer diagnosis at 41 and an induced chemical menopause.
  • Why menopause is different in today’s world
  • Dr Annice’s groundbreaking Toolkit and ‘The House of Menopause”
  • The importance of educating younger women on the menopause so they can take control and put the lifestyle changes in place to minimise menopause symptoms. 
  • Why self care is not selfish, it’s essential
  • Sleep rituals and everyday mindfulness
  • What is Perimenopause? Menopause? Postmenopause?
  • The link between stress management, metabolism and weight management 
  • Beware the hidden sugars in food
  • And we almost forgot HRT!
Wednesday 6th April 2021
Tracey Cox
Great Sex Starts at 50

How to Age Proof Your Libido


In this episode, I chat to Tracey Cox, author, psychologist and TV personality about sex and how to adapt to the changes as we age. Fifty-plus looks nothing like it used to. Many of us I hit half a century with little sign of slowing down, but like it or not, something happens to us sexually post 50.  

Please join us as we discuss:-

  • Tracey’s realisation and surprise that her full and active sex life was suddenly being affected by her menopause – she didn’t think it would happen to her. 
  • Busting the myth that women have a lower libido than men, wrong, they just get bored with sex. The majority of women say ‘no’ to sex because they are bored with having the same sex! 
  • Spontaneous arousal is down to our hormones, as they deplete we lose that spontaneity so we need to take responsibility for our own arousal and do the job our hormones used to do.
  • Penetration and erection problems. Why an older vagina works well with an older penis.
  • How women deal with their sexual issues as they age but how men struggle so much when they start to lose their erections.
  • Communication, communication, communication.
  • Being 50 and single and the untold benefits of meeting someone later in life.
  •  Recognising when a relationship is just not working and when to walk away.
  • Why the best is yet to come!
Wednesday 31st Mach 2021
Annie Auerbach

Reinventing Work for a Smarter, Happier Life


The Merry Menopause Book Club Podcast

In this episode, I meet Annie Auerbach for the second time since the first publication of Flex in 2019. 

To mark this year’s publication of Flex in paperback Annie has added an extra chapter, Flex in Flux to deal with the assumption that working from home during a pandemic is Flex. It is not. Flex at its best is an ideology for a more inclusive future and better quality of life for everyone. 


Please join us we discuss;

  • The aspiration of Flex and what it really means as template for a better life.


  • How the gender roles have played out during lockdown and the effect of Covid on women’s progress it the workplace.


  • Our mutual passion for Menstrual Cycle Syncing and how it opens up a new relationship for women and their bodies, the role it plays in Flex and how it could lead to a new era of workplace management and working.


  • Girls and their periods. The Period Fairy, Period Parties and girls and the long term benefits of young girls and their participation in sport, not being thwarted by their periods. 


  • Why self-care is so much more than a bath bomb and a glass of wine.


  • Uncoupling productivity from success.


  • Finding ourselves in a ‘plastic moment’ – a portal between the old world and the new world and how reinventing our attitude to Flex will lead to a happier life.

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