Pause for women’s health
#2: Menopause: The “Why” Condition
By Dr. Mark Thorpe, Senior Advisor on Thought Leadership and Purpose
Menopause is a condition that will be experienced by approximately half the global population. Why, then, are there so many questions still to be answered?
I have been researching menopause, as part of a broader focus around Women’s Intimate Health (WIH), for about ten years. Over that time, I have been struck by just how little is known, both by women themselves and the medical profession they try to access.
It is hard to put into words the worry that the prospect and experience of menopause can generate in women’s lives.
Most troubling, is that much of the concerns are driven by systemic failure to recognise the importance and truths of a condition that is a natural and, for most, an inevitable part of life.
The sources used as references-points for this piece include: The British Menopause Society, the World Health Organisation, Menopause Support, various authoritative sources available in the public domain, and the many hundreds of women who have shared their experiences with me and my team over the years.
#1: Let’s talk and change the conversations in women’s health
By Melanie Klenk, Group Head of Healthcare
I identify as a woman and quite frankly, I love being a woman. Although life as a woman can be hard sometimes. Especially when it comes to our health. Once we hit puberty, there are a lot of things to worry about: periods, contraception, fertility or infertility, pregnancy, motherhood, perinatal or postnatal loss, postnatal depression, intimate health, conditions that affect our wombs like polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, myomas, uterine fibroids or pelvic floor issues, there are multiple cancers of our female organs or breasts, hormonal imbalances, osteoporosis, menopause – the list goes on and on.
Every woman’s health journey is unique. It can be full of complexities. What is clear though is that some of those issues that affect women’s health are still highly stigmatised to an extent that even conversations among women aren’t happening. If reading through this short list of women’s health issues above made you slightly uneasy, rest assured you are not alone.
The truth is: If some of those topics or conversations make us uncomfortable, that’s a clear sign that we have to do more to break down those barriers of stigma and taboo that have been around for centuries. It’s time to change our view on women’s health. I believe we MUST change it and we CAN change it.
As communicators, we surely have a role to play. We must do our part in normalising the dialogue around women’s health issues. At Instinctif Partners and Truth, we are committed to advocating for that change.
I personally want to live in a world where a conversation about self-examination of our breasts, the menopause or our wombs isn’t all giggly but taken as seriously as prostate cancer and Movember. Where knowledge gaps are openly addressed and not shrugged away. Where women AND men feel comfortable sharing what they know and what they don’t know about women’s health.
Over the next few weeks and months, we will be talking about women’s health issues a lot. We will share basic information, spread awareness and knowledge and a whole lot of resources. There’s a lot we all need to learn. Let’s start by embracing topics we rarely hear about or talk about.
Menopause is our first topic over the next few weeks, but there is much more to come. We hope you follow us with curiosity and an open mind. Thank you.