Happy World Menopause Day
It's World Menopause Day today (18th October) and My Second Spring has just turned 5!
I can hardly believe that it's been five years since I hit the publish button on My Second Spring. I sent my baby out into the world wide web with great trepidation. Would anyone ever see it? I think I had 12 subscribers the first month, and most of those were related to me! But now our vibrant, fabulous community of Second Springers has grown to over 2 million.
Reflections on 5 years of My Second Spring
When I launched this dedicated menopause website five years ago, on World Menopause Day 2013, menopause was a taboo subject.
Back then, if you said the word menopause out loud, you’d clear the room. Over the last five years, the conversation has really taken off in the media and in real life, and there has been a dramatic improvement in the level of resources and support available to women, to ease what for many can be a tough time. We’re glad to be at the forefront of that change.
As the site celebrates its fifth birthday and over 2 million annual visitors, here are some of the key changes that we've observed:
Women are taking control:
Now women are talking about menopause, researching it and planning for it in a positive, empowered way, instead of suffering in the doldrums. That just wasn’t possible five years ago. Professional advice on hormone therapy and lifestyle alternatives is readily available online, peer-to-peer sharing happens on social media and there is no shortage of books focusing on specific problematic symptoms. Knowledge really has been power for women when it comes to midlife health.
Sexual Health is being given importance:
We are living longer and feeling younger, fitter and more dynamic, and yes, we still want to enjoy good sex. But sexual dysfunction is a very real threat for today’s 50-something woman. Vaginal dryness, painful sex, vaginal atrophy coupled with the loss of libido and pelvic floor problems can have a ruinous effect on women’s sexual health. The good news is that there are many levels of help available depending on the severity of the problem. This year, World Menopause Day (18th October) focuses on sexual health, so women can expect a lot of open discussion and advice around this difficult topic.
Anxiety is a big worry:
The My Second Spring community reports anxiety as a very destabilizing symptom. Oestrogen, the hormone that nosedives at menopause, has a calming effect on the nervous system. Take it away, and add in half a dozen physical menopause symptoms and the usual pressures and responsibilities of midlife and presto, the perfect incubator for anxiety to develop. It can start well before menopause - and it’s a subject that prompted Wellness Warrior Catherine O’Keefe to write the My Second Spring Guide: Anxiety at Menopause. Have a read of the comments section on the Psychological Symptoms page if you'd like some sound advice from women all over the world who have been commenting and sharing solutions that worked for them.
Beyond the Hot Flush:
Women – and men – are beginning to “get” menopause. It might indeed be a natural process but it has a complex biology and can negatively impact many aspects of health and mental wellbeing. The hot flush is just the tiny tip of the iceberg, a thermostatic message courtesy of nature. Beyond it, there are many other more challenging aspects of menopause – women are drilling down into these symptoms and fine tuning solutions and strategies for each.
Workplace Wake Up:
Progressive employers are paying attention to the wellbeing of their menopausal employees. Symptoms like the notorious menopause brain fog and fatigue can make the working day much tougher, but menopause workshops can help women make the lifestyle adjustments to minimize the impact on their health. The result? A happier workforce, and a better output.
We'd love to hear from you!
Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of? Feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback has been invaluable in shaping My Second Spring over the last 5 years. Maybe you'd like to share your own story on Women's Stories - one of the most read and most important section of My Second Spring. Or perhaps you have something you'd like to write about for our Blog. Go on give it a go - be daring in your Second Spring!
Thanks again for all the support and good times over the past 5 years,
Lots of love