Reframing the Women's Health Conversation

You know how once you see something in a different light, you can never un-see it. You can never go back to the way you used to view it. Like that episode in FRIENDS when Phoebe caught Monica and Chandler kissing for the first time and she screams “My eyes, my eyes!”.

Sometimes real-life is like that too. Someone behaves in an unexpected way and you never see them the same way again or you hear a new approach to an old theory and it changes your frame of reference. It changes everything. And from then on, your thoughts are altered and you can’t go back.

This has happened to me over the last few years with how I view and understand women’s health issues. And it is slowly happening with the women I work with, who are preparing for or experiencing menopause symptoms.

Let me give you two examples.

Case Study 1:

A dear friend recently told me about a visit to the pediatrician with her 17 year old daughter. Her daughter was generally healthy, but hadn’t had a period in 4 months, was feeling run down, exhausted and experiencing some mild digestive issues. The mother wanted to know what to do and how to help her daughter, especially as she was having a busy and stressful time at school. So she went to the doctor, thinking she was doing exactly the right thing.

But then she told me how the doctor had responded to them.

“Let’s get some basic baseline blood tests done. But it could just be stress, or maybe you are eating something different, or maybe you are not sleeping as much. It will probably get better in a few months, it’s probably really nothing. It’s totally normal for girls to have breaks between their periods.”

So on the one hand – this doctor did nothing wrong. She ordered the standard tests, she asked some basic questions, she assessed in her mind no serious issue. She checked everything off her check-list and her job was done.