Not Your Mother’s Menopause
We can all remember sitting through those awkward yearly sex education classes where we learned about sexual maturation, and the idea that we were to welcome our first menstrual cycle as a sign of maturity and our entry into womanhood. It seems strange we had this abundance of education in women’s health, yet the conversation around menopause was, and continues to be, largely absent. In practice, the attention paid to menopause happens as a two minute passing thought in a medical appointment, or perhaps coffee conversations with friends, or maybe late night google searches. This, for something that spans a significant portion of a woman’s life. In fact, the period of time leading up to menopause (perimenopause) itself can last 10 years before eventually transitioning to a post menopausal phase that may last for decades.
I want women to know two things – you don’t have to just live with the symptoms of menopause nor should you just live with peeing yourself. There are a variety of things that have perpetuated the notion that menopause is just something that needs to be tolerated and suffered through or that it is simply a part of life. I’m here to tell you that this need not be the case These ideas are outdated and are a result of a lack of education relating to women’s health, and a poor understanding of hormone related symptoms and their relation to changes in women’s physiology through perimenopause and menopause.
Here are some things we now know about menopause and its impact on women’s health:
- Women in menopause have higher risk of metabolic disease1
- Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis after menopause2
- Women are at higher cardiovascular risk after menopause3
- Menopausal symptoms are tied to decreased work productivity and higher healthcare costs4
Hormone replacement therapy has historically scared many off of menopausal treatments, however, the conversation needs to be restarted. There are many options available to improve quality of life for menopausal women, which includes both lifestyle measures, hormone therapy, as well as non hormonal options. The message needs to be that there are OPTIONS and it is a conversation with the individual aimed at the goal of determining the best treatment options for that woman. We spend too many years in our post menopausal period to not be living as well as we can. We need to flip the conversation and refuse to accept that things just happen due to age. This is ageism at its finest. Hot flashes, weight gain and incontinence are not facts of life. We need to change and adapt our strategies to focus on individual care with sound evidence and not accept…”that’s just part of being a women”.
Start feeling better now. Visit Prosper Menopause.
- Carr MC. The emergence of the metabolic syndrome with menopause. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jun;88(6):2404-11. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-030242. PMID: 12788835.
- Prabakaran S, Schwartz A, Lundberg G. Cardiovascular risk in menopausal women and our evolving understanding of menopausal hormone therapy: risks, benefits, and current guidelines for use. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Apr 30;12:20420188211013917. doi: 10.1177/20420188211013917. PMID: 34104397; PMCID: PMC8111523.
- Management of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women: The 2021 Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society’’ Editorial Panel. Management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: the 2021 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2021 Sep 1;28(9):973-997. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001831. PMID: 34448749.
- (2015) Working women and the menopause, Climacteric, 18:3, 372-375, DOI: 10.3109/13697137.2015.1020483
- Featured Photo by William Farlow on Unsplash