New Zealand

International Women’s Day: The Truth About Disability and Menopause

On this International Women’s Day (March 8), Dr. Samantha Wilde, Clinical Director of Women’s Health, said: Bupa Health Clinicwhich sheds light on the physical and emotional challenges that individuals with disabilities may face as they reach menopause, and the support available.

Women with disabilities experience the same physical effects of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, that are often overlooked. In this exclusive feature from Enable Magazine, Dr. Samantha Wilde tells the truth about how menopause affects women with disabilities.

From reduced awareness of body changes to menopausal symptoms that overlap with other health conditions, Dr. Wild discusses the barriers women with disabilities can face and how to address them.

Menopause does not affect disabled people: FALSE

Based on limited research evidence, women with learning disabilities, especially Down syndrome, tend to reach menopause earlier than other women.

Menopause can be a very confusing time for people with physical or learning disabilities because the symptoms of menopause can overlap with symptoms of health conditions you already have.

  • Although heightened anxiety can be attributed to a person’s disability, up to a third of women report feeling more nervous or anxious than before when they reach menopause.
  • People who are going through menopause may experience tingling in their extremities, which can occur due to low estrogen levels in the body.
  • People with disabilities may experience joint pain, and the cause can be difficult to identify when they reach menopause.

People with learning disabilities often don’t know they’re going through menopause: TRUE

Current research suggests that people with learning disabilities may be less aware of the symptoms of menopause than other women, and therefore less understanding of the changes taking place in their bodies. .

Women with disabilities may rely on their health care professionals or their caregivers to bring up the topic of menopause in the first place.

Finding and informing the right balance about menopause can be difficult because it’s not always something that can be answered in one conversation, leaflet, or document.

Many studies on disability and menopause: FALSE

At present, only small studies have been conducted in this area, so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about how people with disabilities experience menopause and how best to support them depending on the type of disability. It is difficult to issue

A lack of research in this area can also make it difficult to obtain proper compliance and approvals to ensure that people with disabilities receive the right types of treatment. means.

Symptoms of menopause in people with learning disabilities are often ignored: TRUE

Unfortunately, there was often an attitude that talking about reproductive health with people with learning disabilities was not a high priority. Because they are considered less likely to form romantic relationships and have children.

Furthermore, little research has been done on the gender-specific needs of people with learning disabilities. This means that many older women receive little support or preparation for these physical changes.

Our research shows that older women with learning disabilities who have already gone through menopause knew their periods would stop, but that means they are no longer fertile. I didn’t know that.

People with learning disabilities cannot take HRT: FALSE

People with learning disabilities may be prescribed HRT unless they have an underlying medical condition that makes HRT (hormone replacement therapy) inappropriate. health expert.

Women with learning disabilities need more menopause support: TRUE

Research shows that women with learning disabilities want other women to support them during menopause.

It is important to respect, acknowledge and support women with disabilities going through menopause. support and treatmentTalk to a medical professional – for example Bupa menopause plan – Highly beneficial as it helps people with learning disabilities understand their symptoms, seek treatment and implement appropriate practices to reduce future health risks associated with menopause such as osteoporosis.

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