Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Happy World Menopause Day 2011! Take some time to reflect on menopause and women’s healthcare. Why not make this October 18th a day to take action to empower women in your local community and around the world? Taking just even a few small steps can lead to spreading knowledge about menopause and urge healthcare providers to continue devoting resources to understanding women’s health issues.
Take action this World Menopause Day
*Join a support group to talk about and share menopause survival tips. Numerous Internet menopause groups provide forums for discussion. Better yet, look for a local support network group. Check the Web or talk to your doctor to locate a support group in your area.
*No such group? Create one! All it takes is one person to get started and there are likely many women who are looking for an outlet to learn more. Not thrilled about hosting an event in your home? Arrange to have women meet at a local coffee shop or look for churches and community centers that often provide free space for small meetings.
*Reach out to others in your community and make your group inclusive. Help break down cultural barriers and work with women of various ethnic backgrounds. Some women find it difficult to talk to their doctors about menopause, or do not know how to begin. You may help women find a safe place to talk about their concerns.
*Donate gently used clothing, toiletries, and feminine protection products, books, and kids items to your local women’s shelter to help women get their lives back on track.
Take charge of your menopause and your health
*Make that appointment and talk to your doctor about menopause. Remember that you are entitled to getting the answers you need about menopause and healthcare issues.
*Prepare for your doctor’s visit by keeping track of your menopause symptoms, healthcare concerns, health history items, and concerns. It is easier to help your doctor understand that you have 10-20 hot flashes a week, have gained 20 pounds in the last two years, or that your last six periods have been much heavier than just saying, “I don’t feel like myself lately.”
*Schedule those various health tests and screenings for issues such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
*Speak up. Explore the variety of treatment options available and make sure your doctor knows about your preferences.
*Make those necessary lifestyle changes. Eat healthier, get regular exercise, stop smoking, lose excess weight, and learn ways to de-stress.
*Talk to your family. Menopause can be a difficult time for husbands and children who do not understand what is happening to the women they love. Explain that menopause is not an excuse but it is also not just something made-up or all in your head.
Have fun on World Menopause Day
*Throw a menopause or hot flash party. Get together with friends for food and fun and celebrate being empowered women who will not let menopause take over their lives.
*Look for your local listings and check out a play like Menopause the Musical, or find female comedians at a comedy club. Women have found support by laughing about menopause in a safe environment where women share humor with other women.
*Enjoy your favorite chick flicks with friends by having a movie party or check out what is playing in your local movie theaters.
*For one day, do not put yourself down or say negative things about yourself. Celebrate your body, mind, and spirit.
Make this October 18th the most memorable and empowering World Menopause Day!
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You