The 18th of October every year is World Menopause Day. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing.
The theme for World Menopause Day 2022 is Cognition and Mood
The October print issue of Climacteric includes Brain fog in menopause: a health-care professional’s guide for decision-making and counseling on cognition: IMS White Paper 2022 Brain fog in menopause1.26 MB.
The paper is also available via Climacteric online with free access here.
From the paper:
Cognitive complaints are frequent in midlife women and are associated with decreased quality of life . These cognitive complaints are reliably validated and documented across the menopause transition (MT). Basic and clinical studies show a role for estradiol (E2) in mediating menopause-related changes in cognition . In addition, menopause symptoms, including vasomotor symptoms (VMS), sleep disturbances and mood changes contribute to cognitive difficulties at midlife , but there are critical gaps in the data as to whether this period of cognitive dysfunction predicts dementia risk, and whether menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is protective against late-onset dementia or increases the risk. The theme for the 2022 World Menopause Day is Cognition and Mood, and the goal of this International Menopause Society-commissioned White Paper on cognition is to provide menopause practitioners with an overview of data informing clinical care of menopausal women and a framework for clinical counseling and decision-making for their patients.
The key sections focus on questions commonly raised in clinical care and include the following:
- What do we mean by cognitive function and brain fog?
- How does cognitive function change in menopause?
- What menopause-related factors appear to influence cognition?
- What role does MHT play?
- What other modifiable risk factors influence cognition at midlife?
- What are the generally agreed upon recommendations for optimizing brain health that clinicians can share with their patients?
Read full paper here
Videos for General Public
Prof. Pauline Maki – What women should know about menopause and brain fog.
Dr. Nicole Jaff How to protect your brain health at menopause and beyond.
Videos for Health Professionals
Prof. Pauline Maki – What providers should know about menopause and fog | INTERVIEW SERIES
Dr. Nicole Jaff – What providers should know about protecting brain health at menopause and beyond
Content created October 2022: Source Australasian Menopause Society
“But menopause also occurs while a woman is aging, so it’s equally important not to brush off every symptom as hormone-related. It’s important that women know about menopause but everything that is menopause adjacent, so they can understand what is happening to their own bodies and advocate for care when indicated.”Dr. Jen Gunter The Menopause Manifesto.
Here is an interesting link to a reader study. Obviously, as such, it lacks the rigour of peer review and scientific method, but there was a large response so it’s something worth considering.
And it’s encouraging to see more public figures start to be more open about menopause.
I formally hit menopause a month ago. Whilst I blogged about it then, there are a few things I would like to repeat.
Warning: post menopausal bleeding
This is important, so I’m going to put it right here so that hopefully, more people see it.
If you have any vaginal bleeding post menopause you need to follow up with a doctor promptly. If your doctor doesn’t take you seriously, go to another doctor.
- Bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding After Menopause Could Be a Problem. Here’s What to Know.
- Bleeding after menopause: Get it checked out
Bleeding after menopause can be disconcerting, but the good news is, more than 90% of the time it’s not caused by a serious condition, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. That said, the study also reinforces the idea that postmenopausal bleeding should always be checked out by your doctor to rule out endometrial cancer, a cancer of the uterine lining.Dr. Ross Berkowitz, William H. Baker Professor of Gynecology at Harvard Medical School
Everyone goes through changes as they age, and there is a huge taboo around it.
Yes, I said “everyone”; male menopause is a reality, although calling it that is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not my personal lived experience and it’s not in my wheelhouse of professional expertise, so I’m not going to attempt a deeper dive on that.
However, here are two links (more links at the end of the blog).
I would be super interested in any blog posts from male bloggers talking about their experience with hormonal changes. If you know any, have written any, or care to share your experience – drop a comment.
Menopause is defined as 12 months from your last menstrual period.
The average age for women hitting menopause in Australia is 51.
The seven or so years leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, a time of hormonal transition.
For 10 per cent of women the perimenopause stage can be symptomless but 90 per cent of women will get some symptoms.Kim Berry and Kayte Murphy Podcast “The Hot Flush”
Myths and facts
This is the thing I didn’t know about until I started getting migraines – perimenopause.
Perimenopause is the period before menopause – you are still getting your periods, but your hormonal levels are starting to change. I kind of think of it as ‘reverse puberty’. A lot of what I experienced through puberty, I experienced again through perimenopause.
Since getting my head wrapped around it when I started perimenopause towards the end of 2018, I’ve talked to several women about it. I have found that women don’t know anything about perimenopause. They know menopause will happen, and there’s a whole genre of comedy based around it, but there’s not a lot of understanding about the process or stages of menopause.
That would be that taboo aspect kicking in. The taboo starts with puberty, and menstruation, and continues through to menopause, and it is a tragedy because so many women do suffer alone and it impacts every aspect of their lives.
“My central message is: menopause is the last taboo because it is still hidden and it only affects women and it only affects older women. It’s ageism, it’s sexism, all rolled into one.”Conservative MP Rachel Maclean
House of Commons UK
I’m super interested in anything that people might be interested in sharing around their own lived experiences. Please feel free to comment or share links in the comments.
I’ve also included links to articles that I have found valuable around perimenopause and menopause. If you have any that you would like to share, drop them in the comments.
- Perimenopause Symptoms and Treatment
- As Menopause Nears, Be Aware It Can Trigger Depression And Anxiety, Too
- Perimenopause is real — and something women should discuss with their physicians
- Surviving perimenopause: ‘I was overwhelmed and full of rage. Why was I so badly prepared?’
- The lead up to menopause can be very uncomfortable and poorly understood
- Perimenopause doesn’t have to be a battle. Here’s how I stopped fighting my hormones — and changed my life.
- Meet the women challenging the menopause taboo
- Young, hot and bothered: ‘I was a 31-year-old newlywed – and then the menopause hit
- What is perimenopause and how did it go from hush-hush to hot topic?
- How menopause affects the brain
- Why it’s so hard to talk about ‘down there’: The doctor who is normalizing menopause
- Mission menopause: ‘My hormones went off a cliff – and I’m not going to be ashamed’
- Menopause is something that almost all women go through — so why the silence?
- Women’s health: Thousands of menopause cases are wrongly diagnosed as depression
- The Secret Power of Menopause
- Workplaces must protect women going through menopause, say MPs
- Menstruation and Menopause
- ‘The Slow Moon Climbs’ Review: Beyond Fertility
- Mental Health Issues Are the Menopausal Side Affect We’re Not Talking About
Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.