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About: Royal Hospital for Women / Gynaecology Services Division

(as the patient),

I was experiencing symptoms that made me feel extremely confused and I was at my wit's end to the point I couldn't see the point of living happily. I was experiencing menopause symptoms for the past 2 years and it increasingly got worst. In my mid 40s I was being told I am too young but I knew that I was not going crazy but that I possibly was simply living my life of depression and anxiety and being on anti depressants, self medicating with alcohol and smoking, not sleeping and exercising. My anti depressants were increased and I felt numb for the most part.

That is until a friend recommended I make an appointment at the Menopause Hub at RHW, Randwick. I was able to get an appointment the next day, which I feel is unheard of. I met my saviour, Dr Elina and Dr Neil, who I found validated everything I was feeling and going through.

I was in despair at the unrecognisable person I've become, not just physically but emotionally and mentally. I was crying in relief when Dr Elina explained to me why I was feeling so unhinged and gave me some options for ways to help.

That very same day I was on HRT. I was so desperate to feel 'normal' that I followed Dr Elina's orders to stop smoking, cut back drinking and take HRT.

Recently, I went for my follow up appointment (13 weeks later) and I could have hugged Dr Elina because, in 13 weeks, I am sleeping again, I have quit smoking, cut back on alcohol, I am walking at least 3 times a week and best of all I have reduced my anti depressants from 150mg to 50mgs with the hope of needing it all in the future. I am able to have feelings and thoughts and curious about the world once again. The fog has lifted after almost 15 years on anti depressants. 

Sadly, I heard that the system is considering cutting this wonderful service Dr Elina, General Practitioner (sexual health and menopause), who I felt understood my issues with one appointment that changed my life in 3 months. I was at a desperate point in my life with no hope of getting out of the misery I was living. I felt Dr Elina's wholisitic approach to diagnosing me with peri-menopause, when it's a medical area that seems to be so misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

I believe it would be a crime to other women going through similar experience to not have the services of Dr Elina and her team. Please reconsider this cost cut and the invaluable service I feel it is providing to the everyday woman in our society who needs to be well to work, raise a family, take care of aging parents and be in relationship.

Thank you Dr Elina! My family have their mum and wife back.

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Response from Maria Fenn, Nursing Co-director, Gynaecology Services Division, Royal Hospital for Women 3 weeks ago
Maria Fenn
Nursing Co-director, Gynaecology Services Division,
Royal Hospital for Women
Submitted on 20/03/2024 at 9:11 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 21/03/2024 at 9:41 AM

Dear I am Woman,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your kind feedback regarding your positive experience with the Royal Hospital for Women.

Thank you also for sharing your personal experiences with menopause symptoms and how this situation was so challenging for you over a long two years. I am sorry that you had to endure this and like so many other women were not able to find help and meaningful assistance when you needed this.

The Royal Hospital for Women's Menopause Service has become a Menopause Hub Service and is expanding to provide highly specialised services for women with complex health needs as well as supporting women who may be cared for by their local GP's. The Menopause Hub Service is also working towards providing education and support to other medical facilities, doctors and staff who provide care to women experiencing menopause symptoms to ensure all women receive the best information and care to manage their individual unique health situation.

It's very good to hear that your experience with the Menopause Hub Service and especially with Dr Elina was so positive and contributed towards such an amazing life changing experience for you. We believe that all women deserve this excellent level of person-centred holistic care.

Your post will be shared with the wonderful Menopause Hub Service staff and those individuals you have named and who I know will really appreciate your lovely feedback.

I wish you all the very best and continued wellness.

Kind regards

Nursing Co-director, Gynaecology Services Division, Royal Hospital

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