The Dr Louise Newson Podcast

150 - The effects of trauma, gender bias and the peri/menopause with Dr Jan Smith

May 3, 2022

Dr Jan Smith is a chartered psychologist, executive coach, author, campaigner and the director of Healthy You Ltd. She has over 15 years’ experience providing psychological support to those affected by injury and clinical negligence. In 2014, Jan developed a birth trauma service and campaigns to improve safety in maternity services for families and staff and provides training in the UK and internationally to maternity students and healthcare professionals on birth trauma and its impact.

In this episode, Jan describes to Dr Louise Newson how women can feel after a difficult birth or medical experience, and how trauma related emotions can resurface many years later at peri/menopause when psychological and genitourinary changes occur, often affecting relationships and intimacy.

Jan’s 3 pieces of advice:

  1. If you had a difficult birth or healthcare related experience that affects how you feel about your genitals and intimacy, it is never too late to get help, even if it is years down the line.
  2. Workplaces need to view women’s health as a continuum, not separate stand-alone events like pregnancy or menopause.
  3. Think about ‘reaching in’ to help other women going through it – to listen, to validate and let them know they are heard and seen. This can be hugely beneficial for everyone’s mental health.

For more about Jan and Healthy You, visit

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