Dr Dara Hume.

‘It's great to be able to individualise Menopause’

Cavan’s only dedicated menopause clinic celebrated one year in business this month.

The clinic, which is run by Dr Dara Hume at Drumalee Family Practice, has been a huge success in its first year, helping 110 women from across Ireland. What better timing that using International Women’s Day to mark the milestone!

Delighted with her work, Dr Hume said: “It’s just wonderful. I set up this clinic last year because so many women were making contact and I was finding it very difficult to do menopause in 15 minutes.”

The doctor wanted to use the occasion to thank her patients and staff for their support throughout the year, without which she believes the clinic would not have been possible.

“One of the reasons we decided to celebrate today is to thank my colleagues for supporting me, to thank patients for turning up. I very much see Drumalee Family Practice as a team and we all have our part to play in that team. We’re very lucky we have Dr Khalid Khalil that joined us last year and he allows us to have the time for the menopause clinic, so he sees my non menopause patients,” she explained.

Most GP practices across the country offer menopause support, however patients are typically limited to a 15-minute time slot.

Dr Hume felt this was insufficient time to help her clients, and opened a dedicated clinic.

“I have the luxury of time so I can go through nutritional support, stress management, a little bit of sexual therapy if needs be, counselling a little bit of anxiety management, depression management, so I’ve time to go down whatever tangent I need to go down, which is great for me, and great for the woman in question I think as well,” she enthused.

In the past year, the clinic has been a huge success with women travelling from far and wide to receive expert advice.

“I’m absolutely loving it. I started off doing one day a month, then one day a fortnight and now I’m doing a full day a week and I’m meeting such interesting women. So we just thought, let’s celebrate it!”

Dr Hume revealed that one of her patients came from as far away as Kilkenny, while she had also helped others from Cavan and neighbouring counties. “It’s great to be able to individualise Menopause to them so it’s not generalised.”

The GP has become passionate about menopause and the effect her work has on the women she meets.

“Menopause is the one condition that affects 50% of the world’s population at some stage. I don’t think there’s any other condition that affects so much of the world’s population.”

What makes Dr Hume’s new venture even more rewarding is the feedback she receives following her consultations with clients.

“The most common thing I hear is - it’’s great to be listened to.

“I am that soldier, I’m menopausal myself, I’m on HRT, so women know exactly where I’m coming from and I might not know all of their symptoms but I certainly know some of them.”

Dr Hume has now set her sights on the future with aims to further her knowledge and expertise, allowing her to advise her clients to the best of her ability.

“I’ll continue to grow, I’ll continue to educate myself to make sure I’m up to date on everything out there, to make sure that I can offer the best service that I can, and to meet women and meet their expectations and their needs as best I can.”