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WATCH: Highland women open the first private menopause clinic in Inverness

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Dr Beth Macfarlane and Dr Emma Rushwork with Inverness Courier reporter Annabelle Gauntlett (centre).
Dr Beth Macfarlane and Dr Emma Rushwork with Inverness Courier reporter Annabelle Gauntlett (centre).

A dynamic Highland duo have opened Menopause Health Highland, which is the first private GP-led clinic based in Inverness offering specialist advice to women experiencing symptoms of the menopause.

Running the show are Dr Beth Macfarlane and Dr Emma Rushwork who are both NHS GPs that identified a gap in this sector of women's health care and were determined to help any women, at any age, with their menopause journey.

They said: "We are here to guide women through these challenging times and find a more positive way of managing this natural stage of life.

"We are committed to providing women with all the information and support they need to allow them to make the best decision about their care and what women feel is right for them.

"Being able to make an informed choice about your menopause care is extremely important to us. We will take time to discuss the risks and benefits of any treatments we suggest and also discuss potential side effects.

"We believe in offering a personalised and holistic approach in our clinic to allow us to provide the best possible care we can to each woman."

Beth has achieved the advanced certificate of the menopause care special skills module with the faculty of sexual and reproductive healthcare of the royal college of obstetricians and gynaecologists.

She is also a menopause trainer for both the FSRH and the British Menopause Society and is registered as a BMS menopause specialist.

Having achieved these skills, Beth is keen to use them more widely, providing access to women across the Highlands who are in need of guidance after their diagnosis, in addition to supporting the further training of fellow doctors.

She said: "We are almost fighting the tide, as the previous generation just didn't talk about menopause and so we are trying to get it spoken about a lot more.

"The more that we talk about it, the more normal it becomes and it stops being a diagnosis; it just becomes a part of the life cycle.

"But, every woman's journey is individual to them, so that life cycle could happen at any age."

Beth, Annabelle and Emma discussed all things menopause
Beth, Annabelle and Emma discussed all things menopause

Emma has 15 years of GP experience, and has developed an avid interest in women’s health, in particular menopause care.

She has commenced menopause care special skills training and shares Beth’s passion in providing individualised, evidenced based advice to help women with decision making when embarking on this transition.

Additionally, Emma is looking forward to working closely with Beth in the clinic to support our patients though their journeys.

She said: "I have been very lucky to work in a practice with someone like Beth who has all of this menopause experience. Its quite hard to train in this area, so I do feel privileged to be able to do so with Beth as a teacher and my interest has just continued to grow.

"Beth and I kept seeing these women that were coming into Cairn Medical Practice who were, for numerous reasons including long waiting times, having to go to Glasgow, Aberdeen and sometimes even England to get some more specialist advice and subsequently spending quite a lot of money on travel expenses.

"So that's where the seed was planted that we don't really have anything like that up here in the Highlands and yet we cover this massive geographical area.

"We wanted to offer a clinic that was just purely concentrated on menopause and give women that choice and services if they wanted them."

The dynamic duo are keen to break the stigma associated with menopause to allow every woman, no matter their age, to feel supported whilst receiving the care they need.

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