Our day is coming – It's World Menopause Day, October 18, 2013! That's right, a day devoted to any woman that is in any phase of menopause. At last count, there are over 500 million of us around the world with hot flashes and raging hormones and now we have our own day for celebration.
Although World Menopause Day started way back in 1984, it is still relatively unheard of. So how does a day dedicated to menopause actually get started? In this particular case, the International Menopause Society and the World Health Organization instituted this day to bring increased awareness to menopause. It is a chance for the members of the Council of Affiliated Menopause Societies around the world to address the many issues women face during menopause. World Menopause Day also aims to change the attitudes that have remained in some cultures that women's health issues and concerns during menopause are less important or not open for discussion.
Menopause – An Equal Opportunity Event
Every woman will experience menopause in her lifetime. It is an equal opportunity event. And although women will share many similarities in symptoms, the onset of menopause is not always the same for every woman. It can come on gradually and naturally, or suddenly during surgery due to a hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries. For some women treatments for breast, uterine or ovarian cancer can bring it on. But even though we will all experiencemenopause in some way, few of us feel comfortable talking about the changes we are going through because so many negative attitudes about "the change" still remain.
Menopause affects every woman's quality of life. Even though the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, decreased libido and vaginal dryness get our attention, the bigger issues – like our risk for osteoporosis, breast cancer, heart disease and stroke – are important to discuss, too.
World Menopause Day – A Day to Celebrate
World Menopause Day celebrates women in menopause and reminds healthcare professionals around the world to take women’s healthcare seriously. One day may not change everything; "progress" is what we're looking for. And over time, women will finally feel comfortable talking about their experiences, so they get proper treatments for conditions that are very real and not just "all in our heads", as we've been told for years.
For additional information and to learn more about World Menopause Day, visit www.imsociety.org. Come join the celebration!