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When I was going through menopause, I refused to believe that my issues were due to ageing and the decrease in my hormone levels. In perimenopause I experienced significant mood swings and debilitating migraines. After menopause I developed night sweats that left me sleep-deprived. I was completely unprepared for these health issues and it was only in hindsight that I understood that they were the result of my transition through menopause.
I didn’t know that so many symptoms were related to menopause, but it turns out there over 30 symptoms that can be linked to menopause hormonal changes. That’s a lot of symptoms! If you’re not familiar with all the menopause symptoms, see the chart below.
Fortunately, women are getting better at demanding more resources to help them understand what is happening to them, and practitioners and even governments are realizing that menopause is a significant period in women’s lives that deserves more attention.
Here are three non-profit organizations that are working to make menopause more understandable, less taboo, and more accepted.
The Menopause Foundation of Canada: this foundation was created by Trish Barbato and Janet Ko. It is an advocacy group that aims to normalize menopause and ageism in the workplace while providing women resources to help them cope with their symptoms. They have a stellar board of advisors and both have worked in the healthcare industry for most of their careers. Their newsletter keeps its subscribers up-to-date on developments in research as well as their advocacy work. Their mission is “...to eliminate the social stigma and taboos associated with menopause to ensure that this important women’s health issue is fully supported by our health care system, government, business and the broader community.” (source)
The Canadian Menopause Society is an organization providing information on research developments in menopause for healthcare practitioners. There are plenty resources on this website, although, it is primarily made for professionals. Its mission is: “...to advance the health of women at and beyond the menopause transition through education initiatives and knowledge transfer.” (source)
The North American Menopause Society While NAMS is a US-based organization, the work and certifying exams they do are for both Americans and Canadians. It is the leading organization in North America on menopause, providing the latest research and developments on menopause and other health matters for midlife and older women. It is also the organization that certifies healthcare practitioners specializing in treating menopausal women's symptoms known as NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioners (NCMPs). The NAMS website also provides a list of NCMPs – including those practicing in Canada. Visit their website for more resources, as well as to find an NCMP near you.