Raising awareness around early menopause

0
71

Early menopause (EM), defined as menopause before age 45 years, affects more than 10% of women and is associated with multiple health risks including increased mortality, infertility and impaired quality of life.

It can occur without warning and the cause may never be known or can happen after medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There is no cure.

However, available evidence indicates there are still significant knowledge gaps amongst women that are a major obstacle to early detection and appropriate management.

As more than 70% of adults rely on the internet as their key source of knowledge about health and healthcare, the Monash-led collaborative project developed a digital resource to help improve knowledge, illness and risk perceptions.

The app was developed following a study into the effectiveness of an early menopause digital resource created for women by women health experts and researchers.

The study, published in ‘Menopause’, the Journal of The North American Menopause Society, found the resource resulted in improvements in health-related empowerment, emotional distress and illness perception scores.

In addition, more women increased their knowledge on the health risks such as heart disease, fertility, cognitive issues, fractures and osteoporosis prevention.

Co-lead on the study, Clinical Associate Professor Amanda Vincent, Head of Early Menopause Studies, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, says: “There is no cure for early menopause, so it is really important for women to be able to access trustworthy information and tools to assist communication with health professionals, support self-management, optimise health-related behaviours and hopefully improve outcomes.”

Building on this work, the Ask Early Menopause App is now available to inform and support women to manage their early menopause and contains women’s stories, evidence-based information, a personal dashboard and a discussion forum.

Follow the links to download the App from the Apple store or the Google store.