Why are women so silent about menopause ?

Why are women so silent about menopause?

Why so silent about menopause?_ichhori.com

How did something that fifty-one per cent of the population have or will experience become a “ secret world”?
That is what researcher and business owner Katie Harris felt she had entered, after passing her first hot flush last year and realising she did not know all that much about this inevitable life stage.
In our ultimate instalment of the Women’s Health Project, we were talking about Menopause. And of course, menopause isn't a secret world. It is the world.
But for some reason, it is not so frequently talked over.
During this ultimate episode, we ask why. To play a part in seeing menopause become a louder and more significant national discussion so that those experiencing menopause can get the support they need from their families and buddies, their employers, and the wider community.
Because while this is an area of women’s health that does not necessarily lack treatment options, it can lack sensitivity. Sensitivity that sees women again feeling sidelined, dismissed and ignored.
Women aged forty-five to forty-nine years had the uppermost age-specific suicide rate and reckoned for the loftiest proportion of Women suicides in the year 2020, according to ABS Causes of Death Data from 2020. There's no single reason for this and we certainly can not dismiss the loads women disproportionately take on, particularly around caring responsibilities, that can accumulate around this time and lead multiple to be more vulnerable.
But as Professor Jayashri Kulkarni ( pictured above) says, we also can not dismiss perimenopausal depression that impacts some women in this age group, a form of depression that she is spent years investigating and researching.
The founding father of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre, Professor Kulkarni wants women to understand that assistance is available.
“Somehow we have managed to overlook these dreadful statistics,” she says.
Still, these sorts of things would not go under the radar and we would be able to provide meaningful, tailored treatment for menopausal women to improve outcomes and to prevent some of these terrible stories, “If we had a focus on women’s psychological health.”
Professor Kulkarni highlights how the average age of menopause is fifty-one, but women can experience symptoms in the years leading up to that point. “ fifty-one is that the end of menopause, it begins within the brain around the age of forty-two and forty-three.
“Everyone focuses on the hot flushers. But that is not the thing that disturbs the quality of life as much as the psychological stage.”
A couple of studies have raised national attention to menopause with Circle In and therefore the Victorian Women’s Trust sharing research this year found that nearly half of women experiencing menopause consider retiring or taking a break from work, and seventy-six per cent call for better employer support. As Mary Crooks AO said on the findings it's research like this that confirms we have reached a “ special moment in time” because when we lift the lid on period generally, including menopause, we change both our private and public worlds for the better.
Katie Harris is getting to do exactly that. Having experienced her first hot flush while in lockdown in 2020, she says she entered a “ secret world” and was surprised to have been taken off guard by menopause.
As the co-founding father of Zebra Research, she set about researching the issue, conducting a series of interviews with a various range of girls to find out more about what they had or were experiencing, particularly regarding their work. “I also realized the large lack of data out there and understanding about menopause. And on the rear of that, an entire lot of misinformation.
“I saw this as a public health failure and took it upon myself to go on a mission because all women go through menopause, right? All women, half the population undergo menopause. Eighty per cent of them will have symptoms. Sixty per cent will have mild to moderate symptoms.”
Harris has since gone on to make dedicated resources for workplaces looking to know how their staff experience menopause and what is often done to support them. She knows that women’s workforce participation levels will struggle to improve if we do not better support those experiencing menopause, especially with shifting demographic patterns seeing multiple women looking to accelerate their careers in their forties and fifties.
Some workplaces are already responding in more sophisticated ways, including by offering “ menopause leave”, as Future Super Not long ago announced in Australia, and as Kellogg’s announced internationally.
Meanwhile, Sydney- based GP Dr Julia Menzies believes there are significant gaps in the understanding of menopause among doctors, also as lingering concerns regarding treatment options which will see women feeling dismissed once they do approach a GP with their symptoms or concerns.
“ People would come to me being quite desperate, and that I realized that there was a very huge need out there for more doctors to be told and trained in how to help women through menopause,” she says.
Doctor Menzies wants people to put menopause on their agenda, and to know that there's help available – if they are not getting anywhere with the first GP or health practitioner they speak to, to try to do some research and find others that have a far better understanding.
We explore all the above and more in the latest episode of the Women’s Health Project.
Previous Post Next Post