Until you experience ovarian failure you really can't understand the impact menopause will have on your career. We've been told for so long that menopause is normal and even the National Institute of Health does not consider it a disorder. We tell ourselves that menopause should not have a negative influence on our career. The fact is menopause can easily derail a career. It can even destroy it.
It's hard to believe so let me give you something to think about.
Let's talk about Sam and his co-worker Sally. Both are hard working with a spouse and three children. Both are very successful at work. Both enjoy their career, marriage, and family.
Sam is beginning to have sleep problems and so is Sally. For no reason each suddenly wakes up at night and then has trouble going back to sleep. This is a problem because Sam needs to be sharp at work as does Sally. How can they perform at work if they are not getting the sleep they need?
Both are beginning to put on weight. Their clothes are ill fitting and they just don't feel like exercising. They are getting a bit flabby and worry that this will affect how their co-workers view them. After all, they want to continue to advance and appearance counts. The bags under both their eyes aren't helping any either.
At home both are beginning to have problems sexually and their spouses notice. Their husband and wife are beginning to wonder if they are still loved. Sam and Sally don't understand why they would not want to partake in what had been a very satisfactory sex life.
Sam goes to his doctor and tells him what is happening. The doctor examines Sam, takes blood and gives him a diagnosis. The doctor tells Sam that he is suffering from hypogonadism, the same condition that is called menopause in women. He recommends that Sam get treatment for it. The doctor tells Sam that hypogonadism creates lots of ill health if left untreated. Further, the doctor tells Sam that he will be able to sleep again, he will feel like exercising again and that he can engage in sexual activity with his spouse again. Very importantly, Sam will be able to perform at work again.
Sally goes to see her doctor and tells him what is happening. The doctor examines Sally, takes blood and gives her a diagnosis, menopause, which is identical to the diagnosis for Sam. The doctor tells Sally these changes are normal and there is nothing anyone can do about it. He recommends that Sally get more exercise and watch her diet.
Sam follows his doctor's advice, receives treatment for his hypogonadism, and feels a lot better. He can easily fall asleep. He can make love to his wife and appreciates that the friction between he and his wife is largely gone. He has much more patience with his children. Overall, he is feeling dramatically better.
Sally follows her doctor's advice and receives no treatment for her hypogonadism. She continues to struggle at work and at home. She continues to have trouble sleeping more than 3 hours in a row and always has trouble falling asleep. She is unable to have sexual relations anymore which is causing a significant amount of conflict with her husband. She continues to lose patience with her children.
Sam had his symptoms taken seriously and received effective treatment. Sally did not. Without effective treatment her career, her marriage and her health continue to suffer unnecessarily.
How can Sally possibly compete at work when she is suffering unnecessary poor health and having difficulties with her family? The bottom line is, she can't.
Sam's doctor knows that untreated hypogonadism is unhealthy and unnecessary. Sally's doctor may not know that untreated menopause is untreated hypogonadism. It is up to Sally to educate her doctor and herself. Her career and health are riding on it.
For more information, please read my pamphlet, Understanding Menopause, Understand What it is, Understand your options. http://www.diamondrf.org/education/