This Sunday, 18 October, is World Menopause Day.
This day is to raise awareness of the health issues women face when approaching, during and beyond the menopause.
As the union of a million women in public services, we take the menopause seriously. It’s a workplace issue – nearly 8 out of 10 menopausal women are in work.
We will ensure that working women have all the support they need to be healthy and safe at work.
World Menopause Day is held every year on the 18th October.
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available
Since it is not always possible for local societies to arrange activities for this specific day, the IMS has now designated October as World Menopause Month.
Local societies can also collaborate with other organisations working in the field of adult women’s health, such as societies for osteoporosis and breast cancer, to organise joint events.
World Menopause Month can also be a call to implement policies that support research and treatment in the area of menopausal health.
Studies have shown that menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on attendance and performance in the workplace, there are 3.5 million women workers over the age of 50 in the UK, which makes menopause not just a female issue, but an organisational issue.
During World Menopause Day, let’s talk about it openly
It’s a normal, natural part of the ageing process, yet many women are still worried about going through menopause. Sure, there are some less desirable symptoms that accompany changing hormones — like hot flashes — but there are also things to celebrate, such as no more periods, PMS, or worrying about unwanted pregnancies.
Add to that the increased self-confidence, self-awareness, and greater freedom that menopause often brings, and October can become a time of amazing personal growth and excitement. Embrace it, don’t try to erase it!
History of World Menopause Month
World Menopause Month was created as a means to raise awareness of the stage in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating. It helps women understand the possible health issues associated when approaching, during, and after menopause. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Menopause Society designated October as World Menopause Month. October 18 was also dubbed as World Menopause Day.
In England in the 1800’s doctors prescribed a pre-meal mixture of carbonated soda to their menopausal patients. Opium and cannabis were also prescribed by doctors to curb menopause symptoms. Other remedies included a large plaster (belladonna) placed at the pit of the patient’s stomach, and some even gave out vaginal injections of acetate of lead. Doctors were then surprised when hysteria was one of the many symptoms presented!
In the 1890s, Ovariin was prescribed by doctors. Ovariin was made by desiccating and pulverizing cow ovaries. It was one of the first known commercially available treatments for menopause symptoms. By the 1930s menopause was being described as a deficiency disease. Over time Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) became commonly used and is the most sophisticated remedy for menopause symptoms to date.
The first World Menopause Month was in October 2014. The International Menopause Society promoted it and launched a campaign called ‘‘Prevention of Diseases After Menopause.’’ The aim was to bring awareness to chronic diseases that were more likely to affect women after menopause.
How to observe World Menopause month
- Pause to reflect on the liberating aspects of menopause
Use the newfound independence an empty nest brings to pursue the passions and projects you’ve put aside until now. Put the focus back on yourself and what makes you happiest.
- Share information openly
Starting a frank discussion about menopause helps clarify and demystify it.
Use your experience to help others be better informed and approach the process with less anxiety.
- Add exercise to your daily regime
Studies show exercise does wonders for reducing any bothersome menopausal symptoms.
For instance, yoga can help manage hot flashes. Downward dog away!
Did you know…………
- Only whales, gorillas, and humans go through it
Other animals continue reproducing throughout their lifespan.
- One in three women has problems associated with menopause
Of those, only one in 12 suffer from depression.
- Asian women have fewer hot flashes
The theory is that larger amounts of soy in their diet account for the difference.
- No one knows why menopause happens, but there’s an interesting theory
The “grandmother” hypothesis assumes females stop having children so they can help existing ones to ensure the gene pool continues.
- Your brain might be the cause of hot flashes, not hormone fluctuations
This theory postulates that the reason for hot flashes rests in the hypothalamus gland, which regulates body temperature.
Why World Menopause Month is important
- It can impact your health
Hormonal changes after menopause may bring changes in sleep, heart health, and bone density. Consult with your doctor to ensure your body is functioning at optimal levels and take steps to mediate any issues.
- It reinforces the natural, normal process involved
Back in Victorian times, menopause was seen as a disease to be treated with all sorts of misguided “remedies” like belladonna, injectable lead, and pulverized cow ovaries. Dedicating a month to talking about the realities of menopause — and how NOT terrible it is — can help change the negative attitudes many people still hold.
- Suffering in silence is out
If you are among the one in three women who experiences issues in menopause, know there are many options for managing your symptoms. Consult your doctor, try an herbal remedy, go for a walk or run. Keep at it until you find what works for you.
Further sources of information to support women and raise awareness:
|NHS information www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause|
The Menopause Exchange
The Menopause Exchange gives independent advice about the menopause, midlife and post-menopausal health. They send out a free quarterly newsletter with useful impartial help and support. www.menopause-exchange.co.uk
|NICE guidelines on ‘Menopause: diagnosis and treatment’|
NICE guidelines provide advice on the care and support that should be offered to people who use health and care services. www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23/ifp/chapter/ About-this-information
At a menopause café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss menopause. The website includes guidance on how to set up your own menopause café. www.menopausecafe.net
An award-winning, independent website providing up-to-date, accurate information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms and treatment options. www.menopausematters.co.uk
Manage my menopause
Website for tailored menopausal advice for individuals provided by experts. www. managemymenopause.co.uk
Women’s Health Concern
A charitable organisation – the patient arm of the British Menopause Society – that aims to help educate and support women with their healthcare by providing unbiased, accurate information.
My Menopause Doctor
A website that aims to help empower women with necessary information to make informed decisions regarding any treatment they may take to help turn the menopause into a positive experience that does not negatively impact their lives. www.menopausedoctor.co.uk
Daisy Network is dedicated to providing information and support to women diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, also known as Premature Menopause. https://www.daisynetwork.org