At the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health conference, held March 2 through 5 in St. Louis, Missouri, Michael Krychman, digital editor for Contemporary OB/GYN® talked with Barb Dehn, NP, from El Camino Women’s Medical Group in Mountain View, California, about the importance of helping professional women cope with menopause.
Hello Barb Dehn! Can you give us a little rundown of what's been going on in your world right now?
Thanks so much. I went to the menopause lecture given by Dr. James Simon at this ISSWSH conference, in which he discussed difficult and challenging cases in menopause, which I really enjoyed . And what I am realizing is that menopause is having a moment. We saw that at the North American Menopause Society Conference, [this past October in Atlanta, Georgia] and we even saw it during the Super Bowl, when there was a menopause-related commercial. And what's happening is that people are now finally talking about menopause. People now understand the seriousness of the symptoms and how impactful they can be to so many women in the United States and around the world. We are now focused on improving their quality of life and helping to ease these troublesome symptoms. And I know all of us who do ob gyn have been talking about it for years, but we're all realizing women deserve to have a menu of options to treat some of their symptoms.
Right. And I know you're also doing some exciting things with some new organizations, both in the United States and outside. Can you just tell us a little bit about that?
Sure. Well, there's been a rise in digital health services since COVID-19, right? There are many companies offering menopausal support for the last five years for over 250 global companies. And now some global companies are coming to the United States. And what we're finding is that menopause is not just a issue that impacts women at home, it impacts the network, it impacts their work, families and even social obligations. A study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, found that roughly one in eight women said issues stemming from menopause caused them to miss multiple days of work; reduce hours on the job; and even quit, retire, or be laid off. And often it's at the peak of their career: it’s as if they are saying, I can't handle what's going on. There is a great economic burden to hot flashes as well as it being a social issue. These symptoms are often impactful and unbearable.
Yes, that is all so true, I know you also have a project going on outside of the United States. Tell us a little bit about that. And if any readers or listeners want to get involved, how can they do that? Thank you so much.
So as many of you know, I'm on the board of FAME Medical Health Center in Tanzania. This is a unique model since it is a sustainable hospital. And we also host a lot of global fellows. So we have fellows from Stanford University, from Yale University, from the University of Pennsylvania, who come and teach our health care providers, and they teach them so it's a very collaborative educational effort. So if you'd like more information, you can go to fameafrica.org.
Great. Thanks so much, Barb. It was wonderful to chat with you.