My Menopause Centre partners with pathology platform Medichecks

My Menopause Centre founders - Helen Normoyle and Dr Clare Spencer

With an estimated 15.5 million UK  women in some stage of the menopause transition – and the majority experiencing symptoms affecting everything from personal relationships and working life to libido and mental health – the collaboration of two healthcare businesses is helping lessen the burden of ‘the change’.

My Menopause Centre was founded in 2021 by menopause specialist and GP Dr Clare Spencer and women’s wellness champion Helen Normoyle, with the express purpose of empowering women to take control of their menopause and thrive.

This is achieved through a website with free, evidence-based information and advice, a free menopause questionnaire that offers a personalised menopause assessment, educational events, social media and newsletters, where the community share inspirational stories from other women, and a menopause clinic with expert doctors and nurses. An appointment with one of the specialists in the clinic lasts 45 minutes and afterwards each patient receives a personalised, holistic treatment plan.

Finding a like-minded diagnostics partner

At the outset, My Menopause Centre needed an efficient diagnostic testing partner that could grow with the organisation. Medichecks was the obvious choice, with a legacy spanning over two decades, established relationships with UKAS-accredited laboratories, an impressive inventory of finger prick and venous health checks, and access to nationwide phlebotomy clinics.

“We were looking for a blood testing provider, which like us, was not tied to a specific clinic or location”, says Dr Spencer, “as most of our clinics are online. In fact, we’ve just opened our first face-to-face clinic this year. We recognised that Medichecks had a great range of blood tests, and were incredibly helpful, so we partnered with them since we launched.”

She continues: “Blood testing to diagnose the menopause is not usually helpful or recommended (except for younger women), so we primarily use Medichecks’ tests to get a fuller picture of the person’s overall health and observe how any hormone deficiencies or problems – such as thyroid anomalies – may be impacting symptoms. Blood testing is one piece of the puzzle. Every treatment plan we devise is bespoke to the patient and is founded upon conversations with them and understanding their lifestyle, health, menstrual cycle, use of contraceptives and other concerns or symptoms.

“Medichecks’ team is incredibly helpful, and we love the flexibility for patients – if they need blood tests, patients can find a clinic near them to visit, or there’s the option of scheduling a phlebotomist to come to their house, or doing a finger prick test in the comfort of their own home.”

Quick and thorough testing and reporting

Every month, many of My Menopause Centre’s patients access Medichecks tests. The two most popular are:

• Free Testosterone Blood Test, which examines four biomarkers and measures the amount of testosterone in the blood that is free to bind with the body’s tissues
• Advanced Well Woman Blood Test. This is Medichecks’ most comprehensive review, examining 47 biomarkers and offering insights on thyroid function, hormones, vitamins, minerals and cholesterol.

Dr Spencer explains: “We aim to make our website accessible, user friendly and with evidence-based healthcare, providing full information to women in order to empower them. ‘Empowering women’ is easy to say and can be difficult to do. I really believe that women simply need to know what’s going on in their bodies, to understand how to seek help, and then to get the right help.

“Diagnostics are useful for assessing a baseline testosterone level and monitoring testosterone. We use blood tests for appraising health risk. And if somebody’s on a high dose of oestrogen but still experiencing symptoms of the menopause, it can be useful to make sure they’re absorbing that oestrogen adequately through the skin.

“When we first started working with Medichecks we used their doctor’s reporting system – and they offer a really comprehensive explanation on results. We now complete our reporting in-house as we have the patient clinical detail that enable us to interpret their blood results in the context of their symptoms. And the speed at which tests are sent out and results shared is another real advantage for us.”

Improved outcomes and attitudes

Managing thousands of women since opening its virtual doors in 2021, My Menopause Centre is the only clinic in the UK rated ‘Outstanding’ by industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Centre’s team of 16, which includes qualified doctors, specialist nurses and operational colleagues, splits its focus between business-to-consumer consultations and business-to-business training and education. It works with progressive brands like HSBC the AA and Molson Coors, which want to do more than just ‘talk the talk’ on menopause issues in the workplace.

Dr Spencer adds: “Another reason we like working with Medichecks is because of their shared interest in menopause. For example, we ran a joint event during which over 100 women talked through their experiences of the condition.”

Menopause and the media

Dr Natasha Fernando, medical director at Medichecks, concludes: “It’s thanks to the brilliant efforts of brands like My Menopause Centre and media profiling by celebrities like Davina McCall that menopause is getting the airtime it deserves.

“After Davina’s documentary was broadcast in 2021, we saw an increase – up 147% from the previous year- in sales of our Menopause Blood Test, which monitors five biomarkers responsible for menopause, and helps speed diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Plus, our enquiries from healthtech partners, corporates and consumers themselves continues to rise year on year.”

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