Does misery truly love company? Or do we just want to see if we’re better or worse off than others? Regardless of your position on this ancient saying, women transitioning through menopause need a support group. And who better than other women in the same stage of life as you’re experiencing?
If you google, "Menopause misery forums," you get over 3.6 million results in 0.68 seconds. That’s a lot of hits, perhaps because it’s one of the hottest topics that no one speaks of. Here’s a list of forums vetted from a google search that will help you connect with other women facing the same conditions as you.
This site offers a great forum for asking and answering questions about menopause. It also offers comprehensive health information about menopause and more. On its About Us page, they state, "Patient empowers everyone to take charge of their health. Our trusted clinical information, written and reviewed by an extensive network of doctors and healthcare professionals, helps people to feel better and live longer."
The menopause forum offers extensive information as well as a connection to a community of empathic women who understand you and what you’re going through. Scrolling through the questions and threads, you’ll often see the response, "Thank you so much. It’s good to know I’m not alone." It’s a very active community, with comments and new threads cropping up every few minutes.
Another active forum, Menopause Chitchat is strictly a forum of women and for women. They particularly point out that this isn’t medical advice; it’s simply a way for women to share experiences and opinions for discussion only.
The topics range from "anyone else having these symptoms?" to "I think I’m going crazy" and "how long does this last?" Questions are what you would expect, but it’s nice that women take the time to answer each and every one. The community seems vibrant and compassionate, so if you’re looking for a support group, this is a great place to start.
Another vibrant, active community of women who want to connect and share experiences, this forum has threads for everything from events to alternative therapies and Menopause Humor. Because we need a laugh or two, right? While this site didn’t come up in a forum thread, their community is full of active women who want to engage with others suffering the same symptoms and more.
You can find guides and events, discussion groups, and an active information center that goes deep into women’s perimenopausal experiences. Don’t be afraid to connect with individuals; you’ll find a rich community of women who want what you want: to be heard.
What’s interesting about this forum is it’s a thread on the Money Saving Expert website. Somehow, perimenopausal women started a thread that flourished there. Perhaps this says a lot about how important community is during the transition through menopause. It looks like they started it in 2013 and had 25+ pages of threads and replies until it abruptly ended in 2017, which is disappointing.
While not a vibrant, active community, the questions, answers, and observations are spot on for anyone wanting a thread to read at leisure. You won’t get the instant gratification of someone reaching out to you in response to a question. What you will get is plenty of information and a feeling of solidarity, even if the thread ended almost a decade ago. Maybe Mr. Money Saving Expert tired of his forum being overrun by menopausal women. Who knows?
Menopause chat groups
After the disappointing lack of forums for perimenopausal and menopausal women, we noticed several searches for "menopause chat groups." We decided to explore since this could open another avenue of support by searching different terms women respond to. It surfaced one case to highlight.
Red Hot Mamas. Who doesn’t love that title? They claim to be the largest menopause education and support program in North America. Pretty heady aims. How did they shape up? A bit disappointing, actually. While they had an amazing array of information available and ways to connect with a Red Hot Mamas program near you, they have a small chat function which comprises questions and answers, not a lot of interaction. This doesn’t mean they’re not a substantial source, especially if you want to attend their educational meetings and events. It’s a different format from a forum, but still valuable, depending on your needs.
Eventually, chat groups revealed the same results as a search for "Menopause Misery Forums," but we found the Red Hot Mamas. It appears that women’s support groups online are limited to a few vibrant communities. The others are dead.
Women deserve more
Only a few of the forums in the google search were active today. Others were stagnant or were blog posts on menopause. Not that you can’t learn a lot from bloggers, but that’s another article.
Check out the Facebook group “The Asterisk Community.” You’ll find resources, information, answers to your questions, a community of women, and so much more. When we band together, our solidarity can move mountains. Can we create a movement that brings the transition through menopause into the limelight and affect actual change?
Let us know your thoughts.