Being a busy mum, Ciara didn’t think much when she started experiencing irregular periods. It wasn’t until she felt irritable and fatigued when her period began getting significantly heavier, that she knew she needed to seek medical advice.
When she visited her local reproductive and sexual health clinic, she was diagnosed with perimenopause.
“I felt like I was going crazy and menopause was the furthest thing from my mind. Frankly, I thought I was too young at 42!” Ciara said.
Like Ciara, many people ignore changes to their bodies, often playing it down because of their busy schedules. However, it is important to know your body well and to seek advice as soon as you start to notice unusual changes. Identifying signs and symptoms and seeking advice early is the best prevention for a range of issues.
Like many people living in country towns, rural and remote Queenslanders continue to experience barriers in accessing a range of services and information specific to reproductive and sexual health areas.
Ciara managed to access one of True Relationships and Reproductive Health’s (True) Outreach Clinics – a service where expert clinicians in reproductive and sexual health travel to 15 rural and regional locations across Queensland throughout the year – as far east as Agnes Waters and as far west as Quilpie.
“I was lucky that I booked into the local ladies’ clinic that comes to town,” Ciara explained. “I would have been too embarrassed to talk about my issues with my normal GP.”
“The True clinicians were great – and it felt good to know I wasn’t going crazy! I didn't feel like I had to argue about my personal needs.”
Along with its 5 permanent locations, one of which is based in Rockhampton, True responds to the needs of the community through inclusive and supportive clinics that are available face-to-face as well as over the phone, and offers services in languages other than English.
Business Manager of Clinical Services and Operations at True, Sharon Stokell said, “Our clinicians can help a diverse range of people no matter their stage of life - we support all people with menstruation problems, contraception or sexual health concerns, we offer pregnancy advice, and also provide care for more complex gynaecological issues such as endometriosis. We also offer allied health services such a pelvic pain physiotherapy for a more integrated experience for our clients.”
To learn more about True’s Clinics, visit Clinic