I’m sure many of you in the UK, tuned into the documentary Sex, Myths and the Menopause on Thursday night with Davina McCall. For those that missed it - and for our oversea friends, THIS is is a great summary.
Seeing menopause hit the mainstream media is the start of good change.
There was much to feel outraged about. But there was one statement - almost a throw away line in a series of personal stories that painted an unflinching view of the very real impact misinformation, lack of support and medical training - left us reeling;
“An additonal mandatory module on menopause would be unmanageable”, RCGP.
Doctors are lobbying, from within, for greater training on menopause. Infact, Dr Nick Panay, a gynaecologist and leading expert in menopausal science, has been calling for more training for the last 10 years.
“We need the Royal College of GPs to take this onboard and include menopause and hormone therapy as part of their routine curriculum for these doctors so that each one will come out with those skills,” Dr Nick Panay.
And the current stance, despite irrefutable evidence around the lack of clear guidance and support, is that it would be logistically tricky to facilitate an additional module for under-graduates?
Talking to Dr Zoe Schaedel this week in advance of the LIVE we hosted on hormone sensitive cancers (do catch it if you can - she was so informative), she flagged that, as a doctor training others on menopause, the thing she is very aware of is how hard it is to actually access the learning. Doctors have to take time away from surgery. They also have to pay. There are too many barriers.
Doctors train because they care. And they know they’re not delivering the care they should for women at this lifestage. This isn't just a UK issue. In the US, research shows 80% of medical practitioners feel ill-equipped to support women during this life-stage.
We won't change women's experience in the doctor surgery without changing education.
But, what is really important to highlight too is that the education doctors receive has to be for everyone. And whilst the priority must be on ensuring that HRT is properly understood and offered, it would also be a huge disservice to us all if that was it. Every woman’s journey is different. Every woman’s body is different too. We deserve options. And solutions regardless of medical history, medicinal contraindications. We need more.
There is so growing evidence around the value of a whole body and mind approach to midlife. From CBT to CBD. From the herbs and botanicals we select for our recipes to the results seen in oncology outpatient departments for accupuncture. Yoga. Moving with your hormones. Breathwork. Cold water therapy. Meditation. The results from our trials. The tracking data shared by our customers.
Holistic practices, ancient medicine...they may not have large swathes of qualitative performance data behind them. But there is nothing sinister about that. It is often the exact opposite. They’ve not been commercialised. They exist, passed down through generations, because, quite simply, they work. And, we are often drawn to things, instinctively, because they make us feel better.
As women in midlife, we’re wise enough to know there’s no silver bullet. But there can be lots of beautiful sunrises and sunsets in part 2. We just need the education and community around us. Then watch us soar.
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With love, the MPowder Team.