Women can turn to an expanded online resource to explore the stages of menopause and learn about symptoms they may experience.
The Endocrine Society and its public education arm, the Hormone Health Network, today launched a revamped version of the "Menopause Map™," an interactive tool to help women learn about menopause and start important conversations with their health care providers and peers. The Menopause Map™ and related resources are available at www.menopausemap.org.
The Map allows women to enter information about their age, reproductive health and symptoms to determine where they are in the menopausal transition. The expanded version provides resources for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women as well as women who currently are undergoing menopause.
When a woman enters menopause, she stops menstruating and her body produces less of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. During that time, a woman may experience moderate to severe symptoms, including hot flashes, interrupted sleep, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that affect her quality of life. This change can take place gradually over the course of several years.
"Menopause is a natural part of a woman's life, but many women are hesitant to reach out to physicians or other women to learn more about the changes and symptoms they may experience," said Susan Kirk, MD, an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, and a member of the Hormone Health Network's advisory committee. "The Menopause Map™ offers information women need to fully understand the transition and feel comfortable so they can reach out for any support they may need."
The Menopause Map™ features interactive questionnaires to help women gauge what stage of menopause they are experiencing. Based on an individual woman's responses, the Menopause Map provides a printable resource she can take to a doctor's appointment as well as links to other information.
The Map was developed by Endocrine Society physician experts. Members of the Red Hot Mamas®, the nation's largest menopause management education and peer support program, were involved in reviewing and developing the content.
"Menopause is a natural and normal phase of a woman's life," said Karen Giblin, founder of Red Hot Mamas®. "There has been a lot of confusion and fear surrounding menopause because we have received little preparation about it. Women need to know what to expect when it arrives, and how to deal with the symptoms that accompany it."
To encourage ongoing discussion about menopause, the Hormone Health Network will offer an interactive e-magazine. The publication will feature videos, animated resources and peer-to-peer support information to encourage open dialogue about this important life transition. The Hormone Health Network also will produce a print magazine for distribution in physicians' offices.
"Because every woman's experience of menopause is unique, and there is no longer any 'one size fits all' solution, it's important for women to receive information to help make the menopause transition smoother," Giblin said. "The Menopause Map™ offers free, reliable information, and accessible resources to help women gain peace of mind and control of their health at menopause. The Red Hot Mamas® were thrilled to partner with the Hormone Health Network and Endocrine Society to provide this important resource to women."
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