Women of color tend to experience menopause symptoms at the same rate as white women, but they usually experience them in a more intense way, and differently.
Dr. Monica Williams, a female OBGYN specializing in women’s health, shares her perspective on the under-explored topic of menopause among women of color:
“Research has shown that menopause does indeed affect Black women disproportionately,” says Williams. “They face worse symptoms, for longer periods of time, and get less treatment for their symptoms compared to white women.”
Dr Williams offers key advice to women of color:
- Understanding: remember that cultural factors may impact your experiences during menopause, so think about seeking culturally sensitive care. Healthcare providers can offer culturally competent care – do your research. There is a healthcare provider out there that is best suited for your needs.
- Challenge: do not accept the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding menopause within your own diverse communities. Stand up and challenge them. Menopause is a natural phase of every women’s life, and we deserve the dignity and respect as we transition through this period.
- Open the conversation: few black communities openly discuss the topic of menopause. Encourage open conversations about menopause to foster support, understanding, and education. You are not alone and women need support during this turbulent period. Being silent does no-one any good.
- Empowerment: explore strategies to empower women of color to take charge of their menopause journey, by promoting self-advocacy and informed decision-making. Educate yourself about available resources and treatments, knowing that solutions are available. Women can suffer from hormone imbalance, which can present as many different symptoms such a fatigue , brain fog, weight gain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, and more. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) allow women to age healthier with balanced hormones, addressing many of these symptoms. A non-invasive sound wave therapy called Cliovana addresses the issue of lubrication, orgasm intensity and overall sexual satisfaction. Help is out there!
- Holistic well-being: holistic approaches are really important and can make a significant difference to menopause management. I refer to encompassing physical, emotional, and cultural well-being. A sound nutrition plan and exercise is key.
- Preparedness: women of color often begin their menopause journey earlier and often with more intense symptoms. Be prepared, and take informed decisions.