Monday 18th October is World Menopause Day. Menopause begins one year after a woman’s final period. The menopause is characterised by vasomotor symptoms, most commonly hot flushes and night sweats.1 Up to four in every five menopausal women experience these on a daily basis.1 But what is even more worrying is that menopause has a profound psychological impact on sufferers.1,2 One in four women with the menopause are concerned about their ability to cope with life; almost half say they feel depressed, and a third of women say they suffer with anxiety.2 The situation is made worse by a general lack of understanding and support – a view held by approximately two thirds of women.2
Perimenopause is the term used to describe the years before menopause, when the ovaries stop producing eggs and the levels of our body’s sex hormones (oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone) fluctuate and start to fall. The average age of menopause in the UK is 51 years.3
Menopause is becoming more widely discussed in the media and this year the British Menopause Society is producing a news-style programme ‘Menopause: The Change is Here’, empowering, supporting and educating women to help provide a better understanding of the menopause transition and its impact, as well as protect their long-term health.
Menopause: The Change is Here will give straight-talking and honest accounts and advice from experts in female hormones as well as first-hand experiences, showing how it is not just older women who go through the menopause and how men should also be included in the conversation. The programme will also explore the work being done by the British Menopause Society to improve education, support, long-term health and wellbeing for all women across all demographics so that every woman is able to benefit from receiving the same high-quality levels of treatment regardless of their income level, background or ethnicity. https://thebms.org.uk/2021/09/british-menopause-society-and-itn-productions-industry-news-announce-new-programme-menopause-the-change-is-here/
Further information on the menopause, available treatments, and support can be found at:
References and further reading
1. Gracia CR, Freeman EW. Onset of the Menopause Transition: The Earliest Signs and Symptoms. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2018; 45(4): 585-597.
2. Menopause Support. Available at: https://menopausesupport.co.uk/?page_id=60
3: Cramer H, Peng W, Lauche R. Yoga for menopausal symptoms-A systematic review and meta-analysis. Maturitas 2018; 109: 13-25.
4: Jorge MP, Santaella DF, Pontes IM, Shiramizu VK, Nascimento EB, Cabral A, et al. Yoga practice decreases menopause symptoms and improves quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med 2016; 26: 128-135.
5: Buchanan DT, Landis CA, Hohensee C, Guthrie KA, Otte JL, Paudel M, et al. Effects of yoga and aerobic exercise on actigraphic sleep parameters in menopausal women with hot flashes. J Clin Sleep Med 2017; 13(1): 11-18.
6: Crowe BM, Van Puymbroeck M. Enhancing problem- and emotion-focused coping in menopausal women through yoga. Int J Yoga Therap 2019. doi: 10.17761/2019-00020. [Epub ahead of print].
7: Shepherd-Banigan M, Goldstein KM, Coeytaux RR, McDuffie JR, Goode AP, Kosinski AS, et al. Improving vasomotor symptoms; psychological symptoms; and health-related quality of life in peri- or post-menopausal women through yoga: An umbrella systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med 2017; 34: 156-164.
8: Koch AK, Rabsilber S, Lauche R, Kümmel S, Dobos G, Langhorst J, et al. The effects of yoga and self-esteem on menopausal symptoms and quality of life in breast cancer survivors-A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Maturitas 2017; 105: 95-99.
9: Jorge MP, Santaella DF, Pontes IM, Shiramizu VK, Nascimento EB, Cabral A, et al. Hatha Yoga practice decreases menopause symptoms and improves quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med 2016; 26: 128-135.