Making a difference in women’s healthcare and menopause awareness starts with having the right conversations at the right time. Here are 3 important ways that FemTech is reducing the stigma of menopause and helping women improve their emotional and physical well-being.
1- Treating menopause as a workforce issue just like pregnancy and childcare
Menopause has distinct phases that every woman moves through, often during important and productive work years. The symptoms can start as early as the early 40s.
Treating menopause as a workforce issue, with the same respect we give to pregnancy and childcare issues, helps companies retain highly effective employees and leaders at all levels.
Some ways to support women through menopause include specialized movement adaptations to workouts and mindfulness interventions to reduce stress. One company providing fitness and education programs for women going through menopause is P.volve. They have a Moving With Menopause program that employers can offer as a benefit to their employees.
What’s the tech angle? P.volve’s Essentials Kit includes five resistance-based workout tools that target hard-to-reach areas to engage, strengthen, and tone deep muscle tissue. The program includes a 90-day membership to their library of restorative classes, as well as body-shaping and cardio workouts via their app.
2- Increasing overall awareness about menopause to reduce symptoms and stigmas
Women’s health, in general, has a taboo nature. Menopause, even moreso. Because of that, there’s a lack of education and conversation around the topic that prevents women from getting the support and medical attention they need.
Researchers asked over 2,000 women (ages 40-65) about their overall knowledge of menopause before they experienced it, what life was like going through it, and what male support they received.
What did they say?
Women said “pro-aging content directed at women to destigmatize ageism associated with menopause” would be nice but they even more strongly support the idea of increasing education about the menopause journey overall (62% vs. 92%).
Questions about pro-aging content directed at men about women don’t appear to have been asked directly, however 88% of women felt men should have a greater awareness of menopause. The implication being that greater awareness would result in better support.
And this is interesting: While 92% of women felt more education is needed about the menopause journey, only 71% felt there should be more education on managing menopause symptoms.
Is that because women don’t know what their options are or because they’ve been told they should just “tough it out”? It could be both and more…
Shockingly, only 6% of women felt prepared for all symptoms mentioned on the survey including hot flashes, sleep problems, night sweats, brain fog, depression, anxiety, stress, low libido, and decreased confidence.
3- Starting the conversation early to prepare for the journey and increase male support
Continuing with the 2022 State of Menopause Study results, there’s a generational gap at play. Women in their early 40s are twice as likely as women aged 55-65 to proactively talk with a healthcare professional about perimenopause before symptoms begin (30% vs. 15%).
So how much do women typically know about menopause before it starts? It turns out, very little.
More than 25% of women who responded to the survey weren’t aware of when perimenopause typically starts, didn’t know their treatment options, and didn’t know how to care for themselves during perimenopause before it started.
And nearly half of women surveyed (ages 55-65) weren’t prepared for how long it would last.
What would help women feel more supported during the transition? 41% of women said they would feel more supported by the men in their life if there was more education and conversation about women’s health generally and about menopause in particular.