We need to learn about menopause


Photo: Johan Strindberg

Menopause hits you and it hits you serious. What do you do about it? This week's lady - a writer - decided to find out as much as possible and then she wrote a book: Perimenopower: The Ultimate Guide Through the Change. Many has experienced that the health care not always has the answers that we need and want. Still many suffers for several years, and it is not a disease, so it can be really tricky to find the answers and feel better. However, this may already have started to change as menopause is spoken more and more about, and it should as it is something natural. Thanks to women who talk and write about it, we will learn more and we will know what we can claim when we see our doctor.

Name: Katarina Wilk

Age: 51

Occupation: Writer and communication officer

Family: Two sons, Ville 19 and David 17

Lives: Stockholm, Sweden

It feels like suddenly menopause is spoken about more than ever. Like a taboo has been broken and we can speak openly about something that all women will experience. Would you agree?

Yes I totally agree. Something is happening around the world and maybe it has to do with that women raise their voices in different areas and because of that we can even bring the menopause on the agenda. In UK it has actually even been up in the Parliament and in the US a lot of actors are starting to talk about that we need to rebrand the menopause.

You have written a book about it as you wanted to help women through this period of time. How did you come up with the idea?

I had severe symptoms when it started and my doctors tried to convince me that I was depressed or burned out, but as a medical- and health journalist I wanted to find out more and came to some conclusions while I researched. And I realised that if this is so confusing for me, who reads studies every day, how confusing isn´t it for "common" women.

I realised also that I could help women across the world by writing this book. That they can stop goggling around and instead read my book and be helped in that way. Knowledge is power and I wanted to share my knowledge.

What has been your own experience?

As I said I had severe symptoms especially with insomnia. And my experience is that healthcare would rather give us a diagnose of depression rather than see that it might be our hormones that goes bananas.Many women feel that the health care either not have the knowledge, or they do not have the interest in menopause. Still it can go on for 10-15 years. What is your explanation to that?Actually they don´t have the knowledge. In Sweden not even gynecologists study the menopause while in medical school. And the lack of gynaecologist leads the patients to the medical center where doctors have no clue. I think they also don´t have the interest because menopause is not a disease, it is a condition.

You mention that the health care has lack of knowledge, still many women are working there. How come that they themselves do not show more interest?

That is a very good question. I think that if you are a doctor you want to cure diseases, whether you are a woman or a man. Menopause is not a disease - it is a condition. And many doctors (even women) think that we are hypochondriacs or burnt out. They prefer to call us depressed, then they have a medication for it. I think there are a whole lot of women out there getting misdiagnosed and that is one of my mission - to change the mass description of antidepressants while in perimenopause/menopause.

So what is your advice to women who are suffering and feel like there is no help to get?

There are a lot of things to do. Firstly changing their lifestyles. Not drinking alcohol, no coffee. Cut down on red meat. And of course physical activity. Your body is made to move. And later on the majority of women would do well with HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I have a lot of suggestions for what you can do in my book, from sleep yoga, natural remedies and then the latest oestrogen research.

#perimenopause #katarinawilk #böckerklimakteriet #journalist #hälsa