Menopause Preparedness: Perspectives for Patient, Provider, and Policymaker Consideration

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Published 7/6/21

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) published a perspective article in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, with recommendations for improving care for individuals during the menopause transition. The recommendations were identified by SWHR’s 13-member Menopause Working Group, which met in January 2021 to discuss research, treatment, and policy interests related to menopause.

The menopause transition (perimenopause) is a period of hormonal change leading up to the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, which generally occurs in a woman’s 40s or 50s. These hormonal changes can lead to a number of symptoms in the perimenopause period including irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood fluctuations, sleep disruptions, and cognitive difficulties. Symptoms vary widely between individuals and are commonly misdiagnosed, resulting in delays in appropriate management of symptoms.

Despite the fact that every woman living to older age will experience menopause, there is very little research and much stigma around the subject. 

SWHR’s Menopause Working Group recommended the following to improve and standardize care during perimenopause and postmenopause:

  • View menopause as a normal part of life, not as a deficiency or a disease
  • Prepare women early (as young as age 35) for better overall health during the menopause transition and postmenopause (e.g., cardiovascular health, genitourinary health, bone health, mental health)
  • Explore alternative interventions (e.g., medical, non-pharmacologic, and lifestyle) to address a whole-person perspective for individualized care
  • Gather additional data to address menopause-related health disparities and better inform insurance coverage, affordability, access, and education/awareness
  • Develop interdisciplinary, cross-sector coalitions to address individual and systemic needs in the health care and workforce landscapes

Read The Full Paper Here

 

SWHR Menopause Roundtable

It’s Time for a Mood Change on Menopause

Menopause is understudied in research, often misunderstood by providers and patients, and unaddressed in many areas of health care policy.

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