According to a Hormone Health Network national survey of 45- to 60-year-old women and doctors, these two groups don’t discuss perimenopausal symptoms. Patients tend to hold back because of embarrassment or lack of medical knowledge. But you can get online help today to navigate your way through the various stages of your menopausal transition.
Explore Your Unique Journey
The newly revamped and launched Menopause Map™, aninteractive toolfrom the Endocrine Society, its public education arm, the Hormone Health Network, and Red Hot Mamas®, can make your life-changing progression smoother. Because every woman’s personal journey is unique, this resource goes beyond a one-size-fits-all solution. Hormone Health Network director Cheretta Clerkley, MBA, CASE, notes that the goal of the Map is to remove barriers so no woman will feel like she has to suffer alone.
Start by entering your age, reproductive health information and symptoms. Based on your unique responses, the expanded Map version will determine your current stage and identify your symptoms. It will provide a customized plan that will prepare you for the years to come. The Map will help you understand what to expect, what you need to do and ways to abate any undesirable effects.Choose from two options, a comprehensive interactive personal-path guide and a quick-reference guide. You can access free printable menopause preparation, premenopausal, perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal facts, resources and links to additional material.
“Many women sometimes feel embarrassed about discussing their symptoms with their provider, and the Map focuses on starting the dialogue and more importantly, continuing the conversation,” said Susan Kirk, M.D., University of Virginia associate professor and Hormone Health Network advisory committee member. “The new tool fills a void because it combines menopause education, peer-to-peer support and shared-decision-making tools for providers and patients — all in one tool. Women who are currently on this journey should find it useful and even fun to use.”
Kirk calls the site a one-stop-shop to educate and empower women about the natural changes that occur before, during and after menopause. The Menopause Map’s essential information will allow you to understand your transition and symptoms fully so you’ll feel comfortable reaching out for medical and peer support.
Access Multiple Menopause Resources
Thanks to the Menopause Map’s two-pronged approach, it provides resources for patients and doctors. Try out theinteractive patient education tool and related materials for yourself. To encourage ongoing menopause discussion, the Hormone Health Network also will offer an interactive e-magazine. This publication will feature videos, animated resources and peer-to-peer support information to encourage open dialogue about this important life transition.
A professional website gives clinicians resources so they can communicate with their patients more effectively. It will allow them to download information and order printed materials for women going through various stages. The Hormone Health Network also will produce a print magazine for distribution in physicians’ offices.
Recognize Your Symptoms
As you age, your body produces less estrogen and progesterone sex hormones. These declines cause bodily changes that take place gradually over the course of several years to more than a decade. The Map will help you understand and deal with moderate to severe symptoms. You may experience irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, interrupted sleep, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness and discomfort and/or other unpleasant effects that impact your quality of life.
Trust the Developers
Endocrine Society physician experts developed the Map. Founded in 1916, this group is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership includes over 17,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries.
Members of the Red Hot Mamas®, the nation’s largest menopause management education, advocacy and peer support program, also participated in preparing and reviewing the content. Founder and President Karen Giblin is a foremost authority on menopausal health. Since this organization began in 1991, Red Hot Mamas has offered programs in over 200 hospitals and physician practices in the U.S. and Canada.
Join a Support Group
Even though menopause is a normal life phase, Giblin notes that many women are confused and conflicted by misinformation that leaves them unprepared for this transformation. She advises that you need to know what to expect when changes begin and how to deal with symptoms that accompany every stage.
“The Menopause Map offers free, reliable information and accessible resources to help women gain peace of mind and control of their health at menopause,” Giblin said.
Go a step further by joining the conversation with other women who are on your journey at the Red Hot Mamas’ Menopause Support Group. Sharing your experiences, symptoms, remedies and coping skills can lighten everyone’s personal burden and offer hopeful new options for much-needed relief.
Your new knowledge will empower you to seek medical solutions. The Menopause Map provides a printable resource you can take to your doctor’s appointment. It will educate you about how to communicate with your physician to receive proper diagnosis and prescription medications like Premarin to relieve your symptoms.
Because your estrogen level continues to drop as you progress through the menopausal stages, you need to monitor other areas of your health as well. Your risks of developing heart disease and osteoporosis will increase in the later parts of your menopause journey. So also talk to your doctor about ways to protect your heart and bones as you age.