talkhealth meets... Ruth Devlin

Ruth Devlin has dedicated her career to educating all genders on the effects of the menopause to promote better conversations and increased awareness.

Following her extensive experience providing education on the Menopause, to women from a diverse range of backgrounds, it soon became apparent that there was a need to provide equivalent education and insight to those trying to support people through this transitional stage of life.

Before her WEBINAR, we picked Ruth's brains on her career and beyond...

What was your career like from being a Registered Nurse to the founder of Let's Talk Menopause? Tell me more about yourself. 

After several years as a nurse, I made the decision to move into the creative sector when I was bringing up my children. This change in profession lasted a tad longer than anticipated and after many years running a traditional upholstery business, I finally returned to the health and wellbeing sector in 2012. 

By this time I had spent a couple of years researching the menopause, attended several RCN accredited courses, as well as several British Menopause Society conferences. This highlighted the lack of easily accessible information to me, so we set up Let’s Talk Menopause and have been regularly educating and informing businesses, organisations and individuals since then. 

What triggered your interest in males' awareness of the menopause? 

The interest in educating all genders and age groups on the menopause, was triggered by the feedback and general awareness gained through my work as a clinical educator. It soon became apparent that not only did most men definitely need to know more, but women were also desperate for everyone to understand more. 

You can’t possibly help someone going through this transitional stage of life unless you understand what you’re supporting.

How does the menopause affect relationships? 

In many different ways depending on the individuals in question. Which symptoms people are experiencing and how they are impacting their quality of life contribute enormously to relationships, in addition to whether or not they understand everything about the menopause and the ways to cope with symptoms.

Symptoms like irritability, mood swings, joint aches, and weight gain - the list is endless - all contribute to people feeling out of control, losing confidence and feeling unable to cope with everyday life. This can have an impact not only on their perception of how they are performing within the workplace but at home too. It can make people lose the confidence to socialise with old friends let alone their sexual relationships.

What is your best advice for men who might be learning more about the menopause?

Understand what the menopause is all about before you try and provide support. Make sure the information you read is accurate, evidence-based information that is easy to understand - then don’t pretend you’re an expert on the menopause! 

Be there to listen when needed - develop patience, kindness and compassion. Never underestimate the impact these symptoms can have. Providing support often in simple ways can be most effective and appreciated - try offering to cook dinner while your partner has some time out to relax, or if they need to go and see their doctor offer to go with them for support.

What's your best advice for women approaching the much-needed conversations around the menopause?

It can be incredibly challenging for some women. Stating obvious things for those with more challenging relationships can often work, pointing out that women don’t choose to go through the menopause and being explicit about which symptoms you are finding the hardest to cope with is a good place to start. 

A good idea can be to work through a simple symptom checker together. It helps women to really focus on their symptoms but also gives the opportunity for partners to gain a greater understanding too.

*Watch Ruth's TH+ expert webinar here*

If you are interested in finding out more about the menopause, check out talkheath's women's health hub

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 23 June 2023
Next review: 23 June 2023