On Sunday, I got onto the topic of the menopause with a woman I had not met before of roughly the same age – early fifties. My feeble attempt at small talk: “I’m trying to focus on the positives of menopause” was met with a laconic glare. She fired back: “Such as?”

That’s when the flashbacks hit: Me – red-faced and sweating, rolling myself against the freezing, concrete stairwell walls where I work, checking to see no-one's around before raising my shirt to get the full blessed benefit of the coldness on my back; me – going from hugging my teenage son to screaming at him, in a voice I did not know I had, that he should suspend being vegan when he visits his gran because it offends her that he won't eat her food. Menopause positives? I was struggling.

During the week, my social media was awash with menopause chat. The Know Your Menopause campaign saw women telling their stories. The redoubtable Head of Channel 4 news Dorothy Byrne recounted how, during a hot flush, she was sent home by her boss, who feared she was very ill with fever. Other women told of sobbing in boardrooms and arguing in GP surgeries. The point of the campaign is to share knowledge, letting women know that help is available. Hormone Replacement Therapy, once a not-to-be-mentioned secret, with warnings attached, can be targeted to specific areas, and tailored to each woman’s needs. In the words of one friend, “I have a new life.”

Gone for her are the hot flushes, vaginal atrophy, the rages and the loss of libido. It won't be for every woman, and not all will need it, but all women need to know that their quality of life can be improved and they do not have to suffer quietly. Alternative therapies such as magnets have proved useful too, but don’t wear the blighters to the supermarket or, in the words of another friend, you will experience an odd sensation in your “nether regions” as you become “electromagnetically attracted to Heinz baked beans cans”.

Menopause may be hot now, but that’s not always been the case. As recently as 2015 a very experienced TV producer friend was told the subject was not “broad enough” when she pitched a documentary about it to a broadcaster. (I mean, a film about something experienced by 50% of the population was always going to be a hard sell!) She went on to make the mould-breaking documentary for BBC Scotland in 2017, kick-starting what had been seen as a hugely taboo topic of conversation.

With every menopause story recounted, I have felt an energy grow. Menopause is not something to hide, or joke about, or fear, or be ashamed of. It’s something to embrace and celebrate, because with it comes knowledge, power and solidarity with other women at the same life stage. And that’s a positive.