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Dr Nicole’s take on the Lancet Article

Dr Nicole’s take on the Lancet Article

2 minute read

In response to The Lancet’s recently published series on menopause which cautions against the ‘over medicalisation’ of menopause, and calls for an empowerment model:

We agree that increased empowerment, awareness and advocacy is needed and is pivotal in supporting women at this time of their life.  

Our qualitative research validates an empowerment model aligned with the work that Jean Hailes and Australian Menopause Society are doing for menopause awareness and advocacy.

Menopause is a normal event for all women assigned female at birth and we must dispel the fear and menowashing that can be enveloped around this. 

However, The concept of over-medicalisation needs to be addressed with caution. While it is important not to misattribute all symptoms to menopause it is to be balanced with the known fact that 60-80% of women will experience hot flushing that can last up to seven years and for 20-30% these can be severe.

Perimenopuase and menopause is also a time where women can struggle with their emotional and physical health. We know from our research that 100% of women who know about perimenopause identified that it impacted on their career progression, as symptoms are causing women to reduce hours or to opt out. 

It is also a time where preventative health discussions are crucial and important to commence such as breast screening, awareness around positive behavioural change to reduce cardiovascular, fracture and dementia risk.

As for Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT), we must continue to advocate for improved training and awareness around the offering of MHT. Systematic reviews all agree that it is the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms, in reducing postmenopausal osteoporosis and associated fractures. 

And finally, we know that our current care models are under-resourced to address the number of women that may be suffering in silence or mistreated as simply being depressed or anxious. At Metluma we will continue to advocate and support a holistic evidence based approach that supports each woman for wherever they are at in their journey.