Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
September is Menopause Awareness Month! You might wonder if we really need a month dedicated to menopause and what purpose such a declaration serves. Menopause Awareness Month shows us just how much progress is finally being made regarding womenís health issues and attitudes towards aging.
Menopause Awareness Month
The idea of devoting a month to menopause came about in the early part of the 2000-2010 decade. Medical experts across America decided that the time was right to address menopause with an updated view. This coincided with a rather stark fact; upwards of 37 million American women would be living with menopause. These large numbers meant that for the first time in history, menopause could no longer be pushed to the sidelines. Greater numbers of menopausal women required more visits to their healthcare providers.
In response, Congress passed an official bill declaring September as Menopause Awareness Month. Finally, menopause was no longer something to be whispered about or something to be ignored.
What does this all mean?
Menopause Awareness Month provides a greater forum for discussion about menopause and the effects that this condition has on women. Yes, menopause is a condition and it will happen to every woman who lives long enough. Once thought of as a disease, the new shift in attitudes is an important step to helping women understand what is happening to their bodies.
During September, doctors, researchers, and other healthcare professionals can share their knowledge and resources about menopause. By coming together, the medical experts can learn of new advancements made in menopausal treatments. At the same time, other health issues associated with menopause and the aging process are given serious consideration. For example, after years of being thought of as a manís disease, heart disease in women is becoming better understood. Acknowledging serious health issues and their impacts on women is crucial to improving quality of life and preventative medicine.
Menopause Awareness Month and You
For too long, women have been made to feel ashamed about going through menopause. Old stereotypes are slowly giving way to new ways of thinking but there is still room for improvement. Women used to feel isolated from the medical profession and even from other women; each woman believed that she was the only one going through the difficulties of menopause.
Women are now learning from each other by sharing their experiences and discussing treatment options. Type in menopause or one of the many menopause topics on any Internet search engine, and the first few pages feature many discussion forums. Technology aside, such openness was unheard of in previous generations.
If you have been putting off talking to your doctor about menopause, make this September your time to take action. Bring in a list of symptoms you have been experiencing or a list of questions. Join a discussion forum and encourage other women to keep asking questions and seeking help for their health issues.
Most of all, tell yourself that what you are going through is completely normal. You are not making it all up or looking for attention; you are a woman going through a time of physical and emotional transition.
Menopause Awareness Month is a gift to all women. It is a time to celebrate how far we have come. We can celebrate that the medical profession is recognizing menopause for what it is; a condition, not a disease. Plus we can all benefit by knowing that now we can never go back to the old ways; we can only keep going forward.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You