When you are going through something as life changing as menopause, you may often feel very alone. Most women look to their families for understanding in times such as these, however with menopause you may have trouble doing this. Your husband or partner will likely not fully understand what is going on. You probably dont want to discuss the issue with your children either.
If you find yourself facing the menopause cycle alone, you may want to think about finding a menopause support group. These groups consist of other women who are going through menopause. They can help you stay positive throughout menopause and after.
You can meet friends that will last for the rest of your life. You will hear about remedies for symptoms and what the doctors of others are saying about hormone replacement therapy. Lastly, these groups can be a nice place to build friendships while focusing on the ins and outs of menopause.
Where to Look?
The first place to start looking for a menopause support group is at your doctors office. Many doctors will know of groups such as these. If you live near a womens clinic or a womens treatment center you may want to make a call to them as well. Often health departments will have information, although it may be limited. It may take a little searching to find a group near you.
If you have searched high and low and still cannot find a group, you can always consider starting your own. Find a building that will allow you to meet there for no charge. Check local public centers or churches in your area. Post signs at churches, on light posts, in the local newspaper, or at the doctors office.
You will be shocked at the overwhelming support and response you will get immediately. It may take a little time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end when you see what your work will bring to your community and to women in general.
What To Know Before Going?
If you do find a group and dont need to create your own, there are a few things that you should know before going. First, you should prepare yourself to see women of all ages. Some women start to go through menopause as early as thirty, so dont be shocked if you see a wide age gap between members of the group.
Secondly, the group will probably expect you to share your menopause story and perhaps some information about your family. They will only be longing to get to know you, but if you think this will be uncomfortable, you may want to think of a polite way to stay anonymous for a few meetings. Try to open up to the women in the group and you will get the most from the support group experience. You will likely find that the women there are a lot like you and your family. So, keep an open mind and have a good time!
A few links to get you started:
A Certain Age - A friendly place for women “of a certain age” to discuss the joys and issues of life and what we all share – relationships, grown children, changing bodies, lumpy husbands. Come make some friends.
Early Menopause - Chat and message board for support of menopause, hysterectomy, endo, POF, HRT and natural alternatives. All welcome, UK based.
Menopause2 - by Carol Leonard - part 2 - Personal take on menopause.
Menopause Message Board - A non-monitored message board about menopause.
10 Myths Men Believe About Menopause - Ten particularly glaring examples of male misinformation about menopause.
Natural Alternatives To HRT - Forum for women to educate themselves about natural alternatives to synthetic hormones.
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) Support Group - Support and information for women with POF.
Red, Hot and Feeling Blue… - A New York City support group for menopausal women.
Women At Midlife And In Menopause Support Community - Support during transition into menopause.