World Menopause Day - October 18, 2008

Menopause is Not a Disease Nor a Mistake

Menopause is not a malfunction of the female body, but rather a natural transition from one stage of life to another. With the cessation of menses, there is an accompanying decrease in the production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. All of these hormones regulate certain functions within a woman's body, such as the ability menstruate and to conceive and carry a baby. They also have an effect on the circulatory system, urinary and vaginal systems and bones. Some women never experience menopausal symptoms. However, most women do, and those symptoms can last for several years. As a rule, women between the ages of 40 and 55 are subject to symptoms of menopause, which is usually signaled initially by irregularities with menstrual periods.

The Consequences of Menopause Reach World-Wide

As world populations age, the numbers of menopausal women, including those just entering and those just ending menopause, is increasing. Some effects of menopause may have a negative impact on the day-to-day lives of many women and at times the consequences of menopause may be implicated in more serious age-related diseases like heart conditions and osteoporosis. Many women will live one-third of their lives post-menopause, some at high risk for some of these diseases. Medical costs soar as women who are uneducated about, and unprepared for, menopause experience broken bones and fractures and other age-related illnesses. Most of these ailments could be prevented or at least treated early if women were made aware of the facts about menopause and given the option for different hormonal treatments.

WHO and IMS Present World Menopause Day

The World Health Organization, in collaboration with the International Menopause Society, has designated October 18th as World Menopause Day. This will be a day set aside to highlight and draw attention to menopausal health issues facing women worldwide. There are wonderful opportunities to enhance health and enjoy a good quality of life; however, these opportunities will go unfulfilled without education. There are personal health risks associated with menopause but they can often be addressed with good nutrition and exercise as well as a variety of natural and medical hormone therapies.

Women Can Take Charge of Their Health

The World Menopause Day encourages all women over the age of 45 to communicate with their doctor about their individual health history, what risks they would face for disease and the pros and cons for hormone therapy. Better educated, a woman can make knowledgeable decisions about her health and her body. She can be empowered to take charge of her own health. Menopause can sometimes present challenges for women and the options for treatment may become complicated. Nevertheless, each woman needs to decide for herself what is best for her individual situation.

Empowering Women and Encouraging Research

The International Menopause Society hopes that societies world-wide will use World Menopause Day to bring attention to and focus on the importance of discussing menopausal health issues and the possible long-term effects with doctors and health care professionals. It is hoped that World Menopause Day may be the impetus to encourage support for research and treatment in the area of menopausal health.


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