An overview of forums, discussion boards and new outlets that discuss menopause
Some days it feels like there’s no information or support available for perimenopause and menopause. We’re often left alone and traveling in the dark. But there are resources with helpful information and support as well as forums where you can meet women just like you, struggling to alleviate these crazy symptoms. You just need to know where to find them.
Here is a list of resources you should check out. Not everyone on the list will work for you; that’s why we’ve listed several. Find the one(s) that offer you the most benefits and go from there.
A new resource every woman needs in her toolkit, My Mojo Wellbeing is full of amazing, expert-vetted resources for perimenopausal and menopausal women. This isn’t just another blog, ladies. Rather, our advisory board includes a wide variety of experts who can and will speak intelligently and knowledgeably about what we need to hear. You’ll find articles on everything perimenopause and menopause. This should be a one-stop for information to help you understand what you’re experiencing. My Mojo Wellbeing is a top resource available today that explains in everyday English what you’re experiencing, why you’re experiencing it, and what are the steps you need to address it. No B.S. allowed.
Next on our list of resources is our partner Gen M. You’ll find the website is dedicated to women who seek quick, easy, tried AND tested fixes and suggestions for perimenopause and menopause. No more guessing because Gen M offers a resource for answering your questions. Don’t spend hours searching for information; Gen M does a great job in curating all the available information and solutions to give you the answers to the questions you’re searching for most without scrolling through hundreds or thousands of sites offering little to no credible information. They are a one-stop website for products, services, and content from around the world. From their website: “From supplements to skincare, clothes to clinicians, find what you’re looking for quickly and easily — right here.”
WebMD is the first place many go to check symptoms and self-diagnose. We’re not saying it's perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but they have a solid list of support and resources for you to scroll through. Not surprisingly, their websites are more medical based like the Food & Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. They still offer insight you can’t get elsewhere about topics like hormone replacement therapy and much more.
What’s important is their glossary of menopause terms. It gives you a vocabulary to use with your doctor when discussing your symptoms and determining what treatments might work best. The glossary is fairly comprehensive and purely medical. Still, it gives you terms your doctor will understand better than saying, "I feel fuzzy headed and incredibly anxious."
WebMD also includes a listing of organizations with peri/menopause information. You might question some of these organizations, but rule nothing out until you’ve researched them. They list some organizations that focus on specific symptoms of menopause like the American Urogynecologic Association. Depending on your symptoms, some of these internet resources might offer the information and support you need.
They offer a plethora of information here, from videos to a guidebook and learning modules to an option to find a menopause practitioner. What’s interesting about this website is they offer information for both women and professionals. They’re dedicated to making sure both sides have the knowledge and information they need to make informed decisions. Their tagline is, "Promoting women’s health at midlife and beyond."
One of their most important initiatives is NCMP or National Certified Menopause Practitioner. NAMS educates practitioners like physicians, physician assistant, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, all levels of nurses, social workers, and psychology doctorates. They offer an exam before rewarding any practitioner with the NCMP credentials. This is an important achievement in the women’s healthcare arena, one that identifies this stage of life as valid and valuable.
The NAMS offers tons of resources, but most importantly they can help you find a seasoned doctor who understands and helps women during perimenopause and post menopause. Just to be heard and understood is profound, but someone who can offer a variety of treatments can be an invaluable partner on your journey.
If you’re looking for "just the facts, ma’am," then this is the website for you. They list menopause basics, symptoms and relief, treatment, as well as many other resources. They have a 1-800 helpline staffed Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, but they offer no medical advice. Still, it’s someone to reach out to when you’re looking for information and resources.
OWH provides a short list of resources where you can find additional information. It’s promising that the government is reaching out to women about their health, and it has the potential to grow into something substantive with the right guidance.
One thing they do well is their module on sexuality. It answers a lot of questions women struggle with during this phase of life around sex and sexual health. You can start here with your questions and reach out to others if they don't answer all your questions.
What’s nice about the FDA website is that menopause is folded into the wider arena of women’s health issues. It’s part and parcel of being a woman, which is encouraging, making perimenopausal women feel less like outsiders and more like every other woman.
It’s not an intensive resource, but what we like is their listing of various resources. For instance, they have resources for outreach activities, information from other governmental agencies and offices, as well as a list of medical resources on medications and other medical treatments.
The FDA website might be your second stop, but it shouldn’t be your last. While they offer a decent list, it’s not comprehensive. Consider it merely a stop on your journey to discover yourself and your perimenopause health.
Menopause on Instagram
Don’t forget to check out the menopause doctors and coaches on Instagram, following them can be a great way to organically receive bits of relevant information on a daily basis. A few examples of helpful people to follow include:
Click here for a complete list of doctors, coaches, and influencers to check out. We will continue to share inspiring women with great information to help menopausal women throughout their journey. Sign up for our newsletter to stay tuned.
Don’t forget about the all-important forum. If you google "menopause forums," you get a list of 725,000 results in 0.81 seconds. That’s enough to keep you engaged for a while. The beauty of forums is you can find one that speaks directly to your needs and offers you a community of women who are experiencing the same or similar symptoms. For example, make sure to check out The Asterisk Community on Facebook for some great conversation and information. You can find more options in the article, “Menopause Misery Forum: Good Idea or Bad?”
Finding your community helps you build a support system that offers powerful benefits. It’s a significant boost to your mental and emotional health when you feel heard and understood. But more importantly, you can find tips and techniques that other women have found useful. Remember, what works for one woman might not work for the next, but in forums, you get enough suggestions that you’re bound to find something that eases your symptoms.
You may want to join several forums to find the exact support you need. Each woman’s perimenopause journey is unique to her; but you can still find someone with a similar experience who might help you with tips and tricks for coping.
Some forums are part of healthcare systems, while others are grassroots efforts to connect women struggling with menopause together. Regardless of the source, you might find common ground on any of these forums that makes a difference in your quality of life.
You might not find the one, single resource you were seeking for information and more. But you might cobble together a reasonable network from the sources listed here and the forums you find. As women, we’re used to creating our own experiences in life. While perimenopause and menopause are issues we work through basically on our own, it’s poised to change.
As more women stand up and speak out, as more efforts grow to provide women with the information and support they need, the more normalized perimenopause and its symptoms will become. And the more we can bring menopause out of the shadows and into the light, the more women will be understood and heard.