Kate Rodger: Why I'll no longer be quiet about menopause and you shouldn't be either

OPINION: I am bloody flabbergasted at the sheer number of women who have high-fived our The AM Show menopause discussion - I see and hear all of you and you're goddamn fabulous.

Double that number have privately messaged me, which reflects perfectly the two very different ways women choose to navigate menopause and I fully respect them both. 

What I really want is for those women who are needlessly suffering in silence to feel empowered by the latest, most relevant medical data to guide their choices for relief from the symptoms of menopause. 

For those of you who do want to talk about it, help me kick-start public and private dialogue to open up the channels for conversation. Even knowing you're not some freak of nature suddenly losing the plot morphing into a human being you barely know, instead secure in the knowledge there are just so many other women doing it hard - that kind of connection in itself eases the feeling of isolation!

So to that ends, F**K this. I'm drawing a line in the sand. I refuse to navigate these perilous menopausal seas solo as a hot, sweaty, moody castaway washed up on the desert island of middle-age.

Because this dry, lonely island is not on any map, I promise you.

Ryan Bridge, Amanda Gillies and I talked through some of the more basic symptoms of menopause on The AM Show but I would have needed at least half an hour longer to cover them all. I know from your messages that along with the hot flushes and terrible sleep, many of you also suffer from scary dizzy spells, aching joints and muscles, full-on night-sweats and debilitating libido loss and weight gain. There are also a tonne of you who experienced early menopause, bringing with it the added heavy weight of your rapidly diminishing fertility thrown into the mix.

From all the women and medical professionals I've talked with, one thing is clear: no menopause journey is the same. Some of you lucky bitches may breeze through this phase with nary a hot flush, others will have a mostly manageable time with it all.

But for so many of us, menopause is a frightening, bewildering clusterf**k, a hormonal rollercoaster at the Menopause Three Ring Circus that you didn't even know was in town. It can sap your strength, your confidence and seriously impact your mental health.

While this is a question of women's health and our wellbeing, this is by no means just a women's issue. Menopause may physically and psychologically affect a woman but of course it flows on to affect all those around her, especially those most close. And for every unsupportive, unkind, dismissive, Neanderthalic caveman leaving nasty comments about this issue, there are 200 other men out there quietly doing the hard yards. Trust me, they're with their menopausal partners, loving them, listening to them, turning up the air-con to arctic levels and doing their level best to dodge flying cutlery.

Menopause: Why we shouldn't suffer it in silence, by Kate Rodger.
Too many women navigate this journey on their own. Photo credit: Getty Images

Honestly though, I mostly just wish I'd known more about all this well before I got here. There are so many ways women can better equip themselves ahead of perimenopause to offset not just the symptoms but to come out of post-menopause better, stronger and more kick-arse then we were before!

We need to OWN this time of our lives and we need to talk about it. In its 54 years of loyal service my body has taken all the punches thrown at it both internally and externally, and despite the hammering of puberty, periods, period pain, PMT, cervical smears, coffee table sex, binge-drinking benders, pregnancy, childbirth and now menopause - that's bloody astounding. 

Women's bodies and what we achieve with them? Nothing short of EXTRAORDINARY. 

I will NOT go gentle into that good night - instead I shall rage, rage against the next person who tells me not to talk about menopause on the telly while they're eating their breakfast. 

Kate Rodger is Newshub's Entertainment Editor