I was asked to present at a conference recently and one of the questions I was asked to discuss was “How long does it typically take women to get medical help?”
When I did some research there was very little data on this so I carried out a survey and I was very grateful that over 200 women responded to this in the WellFemme newsletter – so thankyou!
The results were sadly very enlightening – only 15% of women actually realised their symptoms were due to perimenopause within the first year, 29% took 2 years and the rest >3 years of being symptomatic with >10% 5 years or more.
In addition to this once women realised they were in (peri) menopause – only 10% felt their symptoms were adequately addressed or treated by the first practitioner they saw.
25% felt they were managed well after seeing 3 practitioners but sadly >50% had to see 4 or more practitioners to get the help they needed.
The thing that struck me was how many practitioners and allied health professionals were helpful in giving menopause advice to women – it seems that a mass education and awareness is needed for everyone to realise the range of symptoms women can present with– so 18% women got help from their usual GP, 44% from a GP with an interest in menopause (obviously these results are probably biased as it was a WellFemme survey) but the rest got the advice they needed from others -gynaecologist (8%), dietician (6%), physio (10%), naturopath (25%), acupuncturist, psychologist (14%), pharmacist (5%), other mentions were psychiatrist and breast clinic nurse; 10% felt they were educated through TV documentaries and 39% via Facebook groups.
Your comments were so invaluable to the question ”What advice would you give to women starting the menopause journey? ” These were among the over 200 comments included :
“Get help straight away. You don’t have to tough it out, there are no prizes for putting up with night drenches, nuclear meltdown flushes and sleeplessness””
“Keep fighting, its not in your head, you’re not being dramatic, it doesn’t matter that millions of women have been through it before, your pain and emotional state are real”
[If you’re struggling to get help, check out our 5 top tips to be well prepared for “The Menopause Chat” with your GP, and try our free Menopausal Health Assessment tool as a start point for good information about your symptoms]
If you can’t find the professional help you need for your menopause or perimenopausal symptoms then book a Telehealth consultation with an expert WellFemme menopause doctor.
WellFemme is Australia’s first dedicated Telehealth menopause clinic, servicing locations nationwide including: Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, Perth, Hobart, Brisbane, Dubbo, Bendigo, Broken Hill, Broome, Alice Springs, Launceston, Cairns, Mildura, Lightning Ridge, Kalgoorlie, Albany, Toowoomba, Charleville, Port Headland, Katherine, Ballarat, Coober Pedy, Bourke, Albury… and your place! 🙂