Women’s Health – March Health Chat

Being International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8th March 2023 and Ovarian Cancer Month it felt appropriate for us to focus our March #HealthChat with Warwickshire Libraries on women’s health. It’s a huge subject area so we concentrated on signposting reliable resources to help with mental health during the perimenopause and menopause and about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

The NHS website is always a good place to start and you’ll find an introduction to the menopause which includes information about mental health symptoms and what lifestyle changes can help https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/

Mental Health UK offer information on the menopause for people with existing mental health conditions as well as examining how the menopause can trigger mental health issues https://mentalhealth-uk.org/blog/how-can-menopause-affect-your-mental-health/ There’s also a useful guide containing a wealth of information about symptoms, mental health & how to get more help: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/menopause 

The charity Women’s Health Concern, the patient arm of the British Menopause Society, have factsheets, videos and a wealth of information about all aspects of the menopause. This fact sheet explains how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help, but there are more suggestions on their website www.womens-health-concern.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/02-WHC-FACTSHEET-CBT-WOMEN-FEB-2023-A.pdf 

At the menopause website Balance you’ll find evidence-based information about looking after your mental wellbeing during the perimenopause & menopause. There’s a free booklet to download: https://www.balance-menopause.com/menopause-library/mental-health-and-emotional-wellbeing-in-the-perimenopause-and-menopause-booklet

If you didn’t catch it last year Davina’s documentary Sex, Mind and the Menopause is worth a watch, looking at how menopause affects your mind as well as your body.

To read more about other women’s mental health experiences during the perimenopause, how they found help and ways to thrive, check out this recent article from The Guardian.

For resources closer to home our Warwickshire Library colleagues had plenty of suggestions.

It’s now easier to find the support you need with your mental health. Warwickshire County Council have a dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing webpage containing information about local mental health services. This includes a link to Wellbeing for Warwickshire where you can find toptions for the type of help and information that’s right for you e.g. helpline, counselling or 1:1 support.

There’s lots available at your local Warwickshire library too. Visit their Health and Wellbeing page where you can find links to book collections including the latest menopause books, Reading Well for Mental Health and Mood-Boosting Uplifting Books.

Not able to get to the library? Don’t worry there’s eBook and eAudio versions of many Health and Wellbeing titles on Borrowbox

For the second part of our #HealthChat we focused on Ovarian Cancer. It’s easy to dismiss symptoms as being due to other illnesses so here’s where you can find trusted online information on the signs of ovarian cancer.

Again the NHS Health A-Z website is always a good place to start. The OvarianCancer section explains symptoms, causes, tests and treatment, as well as information about further help and support. 

Understand what to look for with Ovarian Cancer Action’s guide which includes a downloadable symptoms diary plus useful advice on visiting your GP and getting a swift diagnosis. There’s more information about Ovarian Cancer on the charity’s website Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Cancer Research UK also outline when you should see your doctor about your symptoms, based on NICE guidelines https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer/symptoms. We particularly liked their information about what to expect when visiting your GP about potential ovarian cancer symptoms, including helpful tips on telephone appointments https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer/getting-diagnosed/seeing-your-gp

Our Twitter #HealthChat is taking a break for a while but we will be continuing our conversations about trusted health information with Warwickshire Libraries via our library blogs.