New survey shows Canadian women still harbour misconceptions about menopause as well as the options available to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this transitional life change
KIRKLAND, QC, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - In advance of World Menopause Day (October 18), a new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Pfizer Canada reveals that while many women ages 45-60 are optimistic about keeping their vitality during menopause, about half (46%) of Canadian women in that age group are concerned about the effects of menopause on their health1, and may still harbour misconceptions about this natural phase of life and the treatment options available to them.
While women of menopause age are taking charge of their health with nearly two in three (63%) having talked to their doctor about menopause2, confusion and lack of information may still prevent two out of five from actively seeking solutions or treatments3, such as non-hormone-based prescription medications, healthy lifestyle changes and choices, complementary and alternative therapies, as well as hormone therapy (HT).4
"There is a variety of treatment options available to menopausal women, but age and the timing of menopause may play a significant role in determining the best solution for each person," said Dr. Wendy Wolfman, Director of the Menopause Unit at Mt Sinai Hospital, and Associate Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto. "We've come a long way in our knowledge about treatments in the last few years, especially when it comes to hormone therapy, and this is why it is essential for women to talk to their doctor, obtain accurate information and reset the conversation on menopause."
In addition to treatment options, women can make certain lifestyle changes to help manage some of the symptoms they may experience as they head toward menopause and beyond. For example, following Canada's Food Guide for healthy eating, finding new ways to manage stress, getting rest, stopping to smoke (as smoking can bring on early menopause, not to mention a number of other health issues), keeping active and maintaining a healthy bodyweight, are all ways to help women feel better during menopause.5
Rose Reisman, leading health, wellness and nutrition expert, says that in order for women to make decisions that will help maintain their health and vitality, they need to be informed about the options available to treat the symptoms in order to dispel the myths and have meaningful conversations surrounding menopause.
"I often speak to women who find it difficult to open up and share their experiences of living with challenging menopause symptoms," she says. "My advice to them, first and foremost, is to ask questions, open the conversation with other women and get the facts about menopause, so that they make an informed decision on the best course of action for them. Having a positive attitude, supported by a proper diet, regular exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle, is what can help them get through the various stages of menopause."
Reset the conversation about menopause
On World Menopause Day, many conversations will be taking place, especially as the largest cohort of female baby boomers worldwide are moving through the stages of menopause. In Canada alone, over 4.5 million baby boomer women,6 between the ages of 48 and 67, have gone through or will soon embark upon this phase of life, so it is important for women to make the distinction between myth and fact. Here are some myth busters to help guide meaningful conversations about menopause:
Myth: Menopause means "I'm old."7
Fact: Keeping in mind how long we live and the vital roles that many women currently play in their mid-50's, it's hard to equate menopause with 'old!' Yes, our menses may end, but there's still a lot of life to be lived.8
Myth: Menopause is an illness.9
Fact: During menopause, all women encounter changes to their bodies, which is a natural part of life. Menopause is not an illness.1
Myth: Once you get Menopause "it's all downhill."11
Fact: Some things clearly decline during menopause -- estrogen, menstrual flow, egg production and vaginal lubrication. But it's misleading to believe it all goes downhill. For many women, the lack of menstruation or the need for birth control is experienced as a relief, even liberation.12
Myth: Most postmenopausal women aren't very interested in or satisfied
Fact: Menopause can affect sexuality in some women;14 however, research shows the majority of postmenopausal women are interested in and satisfied by their sexual activity.15 Studies also show that many women are sexually active through their 70s.16
Myth: Menopause will sap my mental abilities.17
Fact: Aging is sometimes associated with a trend of declining performance, but there's no firm evidence that memory or other mental skills actually decline because of natural menopause.18
- Sixty-three per cent of women ages 45-60 have talked to their doctor about menopause, while two in five (37%) have not raised the issue with their doctor.19
- Ninety per cent of menopausal women agree that it's a relief not to think about periods and contraception anymore.2
- While 70 per cent of menopausal women are optimistic about keeping their vitality during menopause about half (46%) of Canadian women ages 45-60 are concerned about the effects of menopause on their health.21
- One third of Canadian women 45-60 think that most postmenopausal women aren't very interested in or satisfied by sex.22
- One in five (19%) believe that menopause will negatively affect their mental abilities, with four in five (81%) disagreeing.23
"It is important for women to get the facts about what is available to them today," said Dr. Wolfman. "Taking control of menopausal symptoms can have a positive impact on a woman's life, allowing her to keep her vitality throughout the stages of menopause."
About the survey
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Pfizer Canada between August 24th and 29th, 2013. For this survey, a sample of 1,065 Canadian women between the ages of 45 and 60, including 457 who identified as being employed and menopausal, from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within +/- 3.8 percentage points had all Canadians women between the ages of 45 and 60 been polled, and within +/- 5.2 percentage points had all Canadian women who identify as both employed and menopausal been polled.
About Pfizer Canada Inc.
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as many of the world's best-known consumer products.
Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life.
Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy. To learn more about Pfizer's More than Medication philosophy and programs, visit morethanmedication.ca. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit www.pfizer.ca.
1 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
2 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
3 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
6 2011 Census of Canada. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/tbt-tt/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=1&PID=102011&PRID=0&PTYPE=101955&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2011&THEME=88&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=
9The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
10 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
11 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
13 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
15 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
16 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
17 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
18 The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration. http://www.more.com/menopause-myths-facts
19 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
20 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
21 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
22 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
23 Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013
SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.