Dealing with menopause | DW Documentary

Dealing with menopause | DW Documentary

Nora and Nicole openly speak about a topic that is usually avoided: Menopause. The symptoms and changes affect every woman at some point.

Most women have symptoms: For one in three, they are so severe that their quality of life and ability to work suffer greatly. Nora and Nicole are both affected. Nicole is a bodybuilder trying to cope with loss of libido and hot flashes. Nora has experienced deep depression. Both want to break the taboo about menopause. A report by Tessa Clara Walther.

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Video Transcript

Nicole is a fitness trainer experiencing menopause she wants more people to talk about it it’s so taboo when we say we don’t feel like sex because of our hormones people say you can’t say that out loud yes I can because it’s normal what’s normal is Nora’s symptoms were life-changing

I fell so deeply into depression that I stopped leaving the house then I stopped getting out of bed Thank you Nicole is on her way to work it’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon but when she drives the car she still has to take a deep breath sometimes this is this can be a real outlet for hormone swings like when people don’t signal that never used to bother me because I’m a very careful driver

But sometimes it makes my blood boil and I think if I could get my hands on you I’d rip you apart the 45 year old fitness trainer started menopause about a year and a half ago adjust the seat the seats so the backs of your knees rest right against the cushion

Here she can clear her head after another hot night s you wake up and feel like you’re boiling hot like you’re taking a hot bath it starts from the feet and moves up around your chest and then your neck your hair is damp and you’re soaking in your own sweat it’s not nice

Ah the menopausal transition often begins between the ages of 45 and 55. during this phase the egg supply slows and ovaries produce less estrogen these fluctuations and hormones cause many of the symptoms during menopause the discomfort often affects not only the women but their relationships too very sensitive on some days

But still lovable right always Emma always you’re allowed to say that Nora experienced menopause not only very harshly but also far too early she first started feeling symptoms at around 30. we have a loft bed upstairs and I fell down the stairs in the morning because

Everything just went black I sat at the bottom of the stairs and phoned my husband to come home it wouldn’t stop and that was the moment when I realized something was wrong eight out of ten women suffer from symptoms of menopause the most common are hot flashes weight gain

Disturbed sleep and loss of libido but it can also lead to psychological problems like depression about a third of women suffer so acutely that their quality of life and ability to work are severely limited this was the case for Nora for years the now 42 year old could not lead a normal life

Sometimes it was really really bad I felt so deeply into depression that I stopped leaving the house then I stopped getting out of bed for three months I hardly got out of bed it was as if I was standing in front of a cupboard full of my feelings and only

The drawers filled with rage and sadness opened all the other ones were shot Nora’s husband Jens too was overwhelmed by the situation I never even thought of menopause not even close it was completely off the radar for me this will sound rude but it was always a condition for older women

I tend to blame myself first and thought I’d offended her said something wrong and ultimately came up with menopause does had trouble with the diagnosis the gynecologist couldn’t diagnose menopause the GP said okay we’ll do a blood test you look really bad and I thought okay he’s going to help me

Now but when I called to ask for the results his assistant told me they hadn’t found anything and I asked what do we do now and she said what do you mean there’s no result what more can we do but I had to do something or I’d throw myself under a bus The preparation for the subject of menopause is quite poor in College of course you’ll learn what menopause is and perimenopause concerning the therapy is available and what the symptoms are which processes take place that’s hardly addressed in the worst case the patient has someone sitting in front of them who isn’t well

Trained and then the only hope is to be referred to someone who is specialized Canon The Berlin health insurance company BKK hosts a workshop day on the subject of menopause here there are open conversations about experiences that are not normally discussed That wasn’t really me flipping out behind the wheel was it but it was I was surprised when I was on vacation that I didn’t have hot flashes I usually carry 10 fans around with me leads the workshop right now there are nine million women in Germany between 40 and 55 years old

That’s about the time when menopause symptoms can start to appear the entrepreneur founded the startup nobody told me to educate the public about menopause she says that continued ignorance would have major economic consequences women that are 50 years and older are the fastest growing cohort in the workforce if we don’t know about

Menopause we can’t support these women so they can work and feel well if it remains taboo they’ll feel like they have to hide their symptoms that costs a lot of resources that they could use much better in the workforce and of course they would also feel so much better

Many of the women here are relieved to finally be able to talk openly about the topic I’m sure everyone knows about hot flashes I remember bumping into a female colleague in the hallway in a t-shirt in deepest winter and we both exchange looks because we both knew what was

Going on but the fact that there are actually over 30 different symptoms I find that so interesting if I can’t sleep I might not think that it has to do with menopause but if I know that after a certain age it can be I can approach it differently

Some of the topics and symptoms that we’ve heard here really still have to do with shame and I think it’s great that this can be relieved a bit because people say it’s normal and they dare to talk about it so I can talk about incontinence how I

Sometimes run home and think oh no I can’t hold it anymore education and exchange are important thinks companies should do more ideally we need toilet stalls with sinks so if I’ve had an accident from abnormal bleeding I can change there showers would also be great a few beds somewhere

So that women can lie down at lunchtime if they’ve had a bad night’s sleep and of course let them work flexible hours Nora is now doing much better she can actively take part in family life and is working regularly again a Specialist Clinic finally made the diagnosis telephone Linda [Laughter]

I went to a metabolism center with the findings and it was so crazy we were there five minutes she flipped through the findings and said you’re in menopause Nora was prescribed hormone replacement therapy with it the depression disappeared almost completely there’s no such thing as a blanket medication that helps every woman you

Have to look at the most prominent symptoms is it only the vaginal dryness are there systemic problems like hot flashes sweating at some point Herbal Remedies probably won’t be enough that’s when hormone replacement therapy is needed treatment is becoming more individual and that’s good Nicole has been taking only herbal

Medication to cope with her symptoms but one thing helps more than anything else spot is uh working out is a great balance a mental balance especially during menopause when you notice that you’re struggling sport is just the right Outlet I can let out this energy this dissatisfaction with myself

And it makes me happy in the moment because I don’t even think about menopause and hormone fluctuations anymore Nicole and Nora would like a new approach to the topic of menopause I think it’s a good starting point for us today in our early to bin 40s to be

More open about it to encourage the Next Generation it’s not bad when the body or the hormones change I would like to see the topic become more prominent in society for more people to know about it no matter their gender because it affects everyone almost all women in Germany and

Worldwide suffer discomfort during menopause this should no longer remain a taboo say Nora and Nicole but should finally be taken seriously

Video “Dealing with menopause | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 04/24/2023 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.