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Knowledge

Women’s Week event series: MHB lecture on menopause

The photo shows speaker Susanne Liedtke.

Neuruppin, 11 March 2024

The subject of menopause receives little public attention, despite its tremendous impact on female health. The Brandenburg Women’s Week offers an evening lecture as an opportunity to learn everything about this stage in life and why it is important that women shape this change proactively to be empowered for the second half of their lives. The Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB) joins the event series, and in collaboration with the local savings bank Ostprignitz-Ruppin invited Susanne Liedtke as a speaker. The expert in ecotrophology initiated the online portal “nobodytoldme” to address the female menopause as the key topic. Location and date of the lecture, also to be followed online: Altes Gymnasium in Neuruppin , 13 March. The interview below gives a first impression.

Mrs. Liedtke, what was the trigger to create “nobodytoldme” for women?
Susanne Liedtke: My personal experience with the menopause resembles that of many others: I had vivid memories of my mother’s menopause just as I remembered the puberty of my children, but never thought much about hormones and all that. I was 49 when I first heard the term perimenopause. Nobody had told me that a profound and far-reaching process starts prior to the last period and that the menopause acts like a reversal of puberty. It is true that I felt some changes when I was in my early forties, but everything I heard in this context was more or less off-putting. I found the diversity of opinions confusing and the products offered very unappealing. So I gave up my job with Google, and I decided to break this taboo, to shed light on the topic and offer services that are demonstrably useful. It is not necessary that every forty-year-old woman starts out on that journey all by herself. I want women to be better prepared for the next medical appointment, to finally find an efficient sleeping aid, or just to get a better understanding of what is happing in their bodies.

What is the difference between menopause and climacteric?
I am grateful for this question, since the terms are wrongly used as synonyms. The medical definition of menopause is the moment of a woman’s very last period; the Greek word pausis means pause, and mēn stands for month. If a woman has reached the age of 45 and has had no period for twelve subsequent months, then she may in all probability be assumed to have had the menopause. In contrast, the climacteric describes the entire stage of transition from the fertile to the infertile phase.

Are menopause and climacteric necessarily accompanied by disorders for all females?
By no means. We can assume that approximately one in three women is free of complaints. The monthly cycle just stops. But two thirds have problems, about half of them even severe problems. For these women it is essential to get medical help and not just to think they have to bear up. The first contact point in this case is always the gynecologist. I also recommend independent search for information. Several great books about the topic were published recently: pharmacist Diane Helfrich, “Ich dachte, ich krieg das nicht”; Miriam Stein, “Die gereizte Frau”; and of course, Dr. Sheila de Liz, “Women on Fire”. Two podcasts are my favorites: “Hormongesteuert”, channel MDR with gynecologist Dr. Katrin Schaudig (chair, German Menopause Society) and “Meno an mich” with Diana Helfrich.  

Are men also welcome to attend your lecture?
I certainly hope for male participants. The topic is of interest to all who live together with a woman, have female colleagues, who are females themselves or have a female boss. It is about time that we treat menopause and climacteric as something normal. We must be familiar with the subject so that we can offer support and understanding to those who need it.


Info: Lecture on the topic. Location: Altes Gymnasium, Neuruppin. Time: 13 March 2024, starting 5 p.m., to be followed online and free of charge via https://mhb-fontane.webex.com/meet/gleichstellung. For questions feel free to contact MHB equality commissioner Georgia Fehler (e-mail: gleichstellung@mhb-fontane.de). For further details see www.nobodytoldme.com.

Contact:
Georgia Fehler
MHB equality commissioner
Phone: +49 176 84441653
E-Mail: georgia.fehler@mhb-fontane.de

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