Starting a conversation about the menopause

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A study by the beauty company, Avon, has found that 47% of women feel unprepared and uninformed when it comes to the menopause.

Over 700 women aged between 45 and 54 from countries across the world took part in the quantitative study.  Of those participants, 44% were unaware of perimenopause with nearly six out of ten British women saying they were not aware of the pre-menopausal process when it started.

Avon has encouraged women to help themselves and future generations by speaking up and sharing their experiences.

Previous first lady, Michelle Obama, highlights the importance of talking about the menopause in an episode of her new podcast. In the episode entitled ‘what your mother never told you about health’, Michelle speaks to gynaecologist Dr Sharon Malone about all things female-health.

When discussing the menopause, Michelle says, ‘If we can’t acknowledge what’s going on with us, we can’t fully celebrate just how amazing we are. When you think of all that a woman’s body has to do over the course of her lifetime… there is power in that but we were taught to be ashamed of it, not to even seek to understand it or explore it for our own edification. Let alone to help the next generation.’

Michelle provides an insight into her experience of the menopause while on a presidential tour with her husband Barack Obama. Michelle said, ‘I’m dressed and I needed to go to a big event but it was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high, everything started melting.

‘I thought, this is crazy, I can’t do this. Barack was surrounded by women in his cabinet at the time, many going through menopause and he could see it because sweat would start pouring. He was like what’s going on? I would say “this is just how we live”. He didn’t fall apart when he found out there were several women going through the menopause, he just said “oh, well turn the air conditioning on!” The day-to-day functions of everyday life while you’re going through the menopause just don’t work.’

Why not consider some steps you could take to normalise the menopause for younger generations. If you have any comments related to this topic, we would love to hear from you. Simply email Leanne Sheill at lsheill@fht.org.uk.

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