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Menopause Matters – How women are misinformed, mismanaged and marginalized

If we normalize the menopause discussion, we can prevent serious illness, chronic conditions and age-related disabilities in women. Without the knowledge of menopause and knowing which healthcare professionals to consult, women cannot receive adequate care for menopause.

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By continuing to feed into the stigma, silence and marginalization of women facing menopause, we are significantly hampered. Without the specialized and integrated care needed, or the unmet need for innovation and technological advancement of technologies and services being fulfilled, women will continue to be negatively impacted by this natural but debilitating process, as well as having the additional burden of unmanaged chronic illnesses that increase significantly increase their morbidity and mortality around this vulnerable time period.

Menopause matters: Managing the bias

Women now live one third of their lives after menopause.

More than 75% of women experience menopausal symptoms, and a quarter of such women describe their symptoms as severe. 1 84% of women report that their symptoms interfere with their lives 1.25 million Israeli women are in perimenopause 2


MISINFORMED

In a survey conducted among 2200 women in Israel about menopause 2

  • Despite 85% experiencing symptoms: only just over 10% consulted a gynecologist

  • less than 5% a family practitioner

  • Despite concerns about HT, not knowing treatment options or who to consult, 90% got their medical information from family and friends!

  • This mirrors other studies done globally where 42% of women have never discussed menopause with a health provider, and only 1 in 5 women received a referral to a menopause specialist. 3 , 4


MISMANAGED

There are NO multidisciplinary Menopause Clinics available in Israel and the responsibility of the menopausal patient does not rest with one healthcare professional who would be able to co-ordinate integrated speciality care .

Women around the time of menopause present with complex medical issues that are beyond the traditional scope of gynaecologists and general practitioners. 3AARP, 5 Stute, 6 Shifren

Of the 60% of women who did seek medical attention, 75% are left untreated. 4


MANAGING Menopause in the Workplace

Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), along with other conditions, can lead to a significant reduction in a woman’s quality of life, increased utilization of medical resources and an overall loss of productivity.

Research estimates that menopausal women experiencing VMS had 121% higher utilization of healthcare resources and nearly 60% more work productivity loss days compared to women without symptoms. 4


Message of stigma had created a huge unmet need and a represents a significant barrier to

innovation

The stigma and silence associated with menopause are preventing technology developers and investors from seeing the massive potential this market holds. 4 The International Menopause Society states that “Achieving good quality of life is a prime target in menopause medicine, which is as important as prevention and treatment of diseases.” 7

References:

1. Joint BMS / RCOG / RCGP / FSRH framework for restoration of menopause services in response to COVID-19. Available from: https://thebms.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Framework-for-restoration-of-menopause-services-2020.pdf Accessed 12 August 2020

2. https://www.wtb.org.il/en/israel-2019-what-do-women-want-and-need-at-midlife

3. Wolff J. What Doctors Don’t Know About Menopause. Available from:

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/menopause-symptoms-doctors-relief-treatment.html Last accessed 13 August 2020

4. Das R. Menopause Unveils Itself As The Next Big Opportunity In Femtech. Available from:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2019/07/24/menopause-unveils-itself-as-the-next-big-opportunity-in-femtech/#507232e65354 Last accessed 13 August 2020

5. Stute P, Ceausu I, Depypere H, et al. A model of care for healthy menopause and ageing: EMAS position statement. Maturitas. 2016;92:1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.06.018

6. Shifren JL, Gass ML; NAMS Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women Working Group. The North American Menopause Society recommendations for clinical care of midlife women. Menopause. 2014;21(10):1038-1062 DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000319

7. Pines A. Guidelines and recommendations on hormone therapy in the menopause. J Midlife Health. 2010;1(1):41-42. DOI: 10.4103/0976-7800.66990

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