World Menopause Month

October 5, 2023 - Defence Stories

October is World Menopause Month! As the leaves begin to change and a cool breeze fills the air, the month of October takes on a new significance. It's a time to raise awareness about an important life transition that affects many around the world - menopause.

One of the primary objectives of World Menopause Month is to break down the stigma and silence that have historically surrounded the topic. Open conversations foster an environment of understanding, support, and solidarity among all CAF members who wish to share experiences, seek advice, and gain insights from one another. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and when it comes to menopause, awareness is key. Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) is committed to providing accurate and accessible information at all stages of life. From perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause, to post menopause, we want to help you understand what to expect and how to manage your symptoms.

Menopause, often clouded in myths and misconceptions, is a natural biological process in which the ovaries begin to slow down the production of reproductive hormones. It begins with the perimenopause phase; the ovaries' production of estrogen and progesterone decline, leading to irregular periods. Your cycles may become longer or shorter, with missed or irregular periods. The average age of perimenopause is 45-years-old – younger than some may think! The onset of menopausal symptoms typically starts during this transition phase.

When you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months, you have officially reached menopause. The average age of menopause in Canada is 51-years-old. Peri/menopause brings hormonal changes that can lead to symptoms such as ‘hot flashes,’ mood swings, and sleep disturbances. It is crucial to recognize that this is a unique journey for each person.

Menopause is not just a physical transition; it also affects mental and emotional health. Fluctuating hormones can contribute to mood swings, anxiety, and even depression. During World Menopause Month, starting on October 3, CFHS will show various bite-sized videos hosted by Canadian physicians discussing topics such as:

We have many treatment options to help you during this challenging time. Join us here to learn more (accessible only on the National Defence network).

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