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Feb. 16, 2023

Let's chat with Sonya!

How cool would it be if this was a radio show and you could call in and ask me questions?!

Unfortunately, that's not an option, although I hope it might be something we can play with soon. 

In today's episode of Let's Chat, I'm experimenting with a new way to connect with you and bring you a broader range of topics and info.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why I've started the Let's Chat episodes and what you can expect in the future
  • How you can help the Australasian Menopause Society shape its Embrace The Change campaign
  • Why the recent NY Times article "Women Have Been Misled About Menopause" is groundbreaking but also what I feel was missing from it
  • Announcing Dear Menopause Live! which will launch in Sydney in May 2023

Australasian Menopause Society
Take the AMS Survey
The Daily Podcast episode of the NYTimes article
The NYTimes Article
Register for info on Dear Menopause Live! in Sydney

Contact Sonya:
Instagram - @stellarwomen_by_sonya

Related Episodes:
Dr Lina Safro - AMS Board Member
Dr Marita Long - AMS Board Member

Where to find Sonya:
Take the Midlife Quiz
Stellar Women Website

You're invited to join the We Are Stellar Women community on Facebook, a free supportive space for all women navigating the menopausal transition. Click here to join.


[00:02] Sonya: My name is Sonya Lovell and I am obsessed with helping women navigate the magical, messy, and, let's be honest, more hysterical moments of this thing called menopause. I'm a personal trainer and breast cancer survivor turned menopause coach. I help women understand what's going on, why, and what they can do to navigate the menopausal trail transition. This is the Dare Menopause podcast.

[00:31] Sonya: This is a whole new format of the Dear Menopause podcast. It's the first episode of what? For now, I'm calling let's Chat. Thank you for listening in, choosing to experience something new with me and gifting me this space where I can explore how I can best communicate with you and give you what you want, as well as get a little bit of what I want out of it as well. So let's see where this thing takes us. There has been so much going on in the Menopause space globally, but also here at home in the last couple of weeks. And I really wanted to kind of share some of this info with you, have some conversations about what I feel about some of the things that have been going on and being published and produced and have created some global conversations. So I thought that perhaps this format of podcast would be a great way for me to be able to have these conversations with you, but not for them to be one sided. I don't want to sit here and tell you this is what I think, this is why I think it. And you just go off and do that with what you want. I really want to create a space where this is interactive. Now, if I was able to bring my childhood dreams to fruition right now, we'd be on live radio and you'd be able to call in and have a chat and ask me questions and we'd have conversations, but for now, that's not a possibility. But I also won't deny that it's something that I would love to make happen in the future. Probably not the radio side of it, but a format of podcasting that can be much more interactive. So for now, I'm going to have a chat about some of the things that have been going on that I would love you to know about. And I'm going to ask you some questions and I really invite you to find a way to share with me, obviously outside of this podcast space, how I can help you, what you want to know, and give you the opportunity to ask me questions. So I will share at the end of this episode how you can best contact me. I'm pretty available and easy to find, but I will be inviting you to get in touch with me and then on the next episode of let's Chat, I will be able to address some of your questions. So, first of all, I want to talk about an exciting new campaign that is starting to be rolled out by the sounds of things from the Australasian Menopause Society. Now. The Australasian Menopause Society is an incredible organization. I have interviewed a few of the members before, board members here on Demnopores, and I'll link to those episodes at the end in the Show Notes, but they are predominantly a volunteer organization. But they are also a globally recognized organization. The doctors and the specialists that dedicate their time to creating the resources and everything that's available on their website are incredible humans and they deserve our support. So I'm really excited to see that they have started being a whole lot more active on their social media account. So I would encourage you to go give them a follow and I'll share their details in the Show Notes. But more than anything right now, they have launched a short survey off their website that is targeted at Perry or postmenopausal Australian women. And the information that they are gathering from this is to inform their new advocacy campaign, which is called Embrace the Change. Now, I am super excited to learn more about this. I haven't been able to find many details to date, but I will be reaching out and asking them for as many details as I can because any advocacy around this topic, as you know, really warms my heart and is so needed. But to see it coming from the Australasian Menopause Society is even more exciting. So, again, in the Show Notes, I'll link through to the survey. It's really short. I think I went and took a quick look. It's maybe three or four questions. I believe last time I saw them post about it, they had had over 300 women complete the survey as they were hoping for over 500. I think it would be amazing to have even more than that. Australia is a very big country and women make up 51% of the population. So let's give them our support, take the survey and follow what they're up to with their new Embrace the Change campaign. So that was one of the topics that I wanted to chat about today. Next, I wanted to talk about a groundbreaking article that was published probably, I'm going to say, ten days to two weeks ago now in The New York Times. The article was titled women have been Misled by Menopause. It's been shared widely, it's been commented on widely. But unfortunately, up until recently, it was also really hard on our side of the world to access the article to read because you do need a subscription with The New York Times to access their content and you can access a certain amount for free. But what happens is after you've read, I think it's maybe two or three articles within a certain time period, it blocks you from being able to read any further. So I was someone that came up against that problem and hadn't been able to access the actual article to read however, I was very excited this week to learn that The Daily, which is a super popular podcast that is produced by the New York Times and as the name says, it comes out daily. This week they recorded an episode, a full episode, where the author of the article read her article out in full. So it's about a 40 minutes episode. I had to listen to it today. I was in the car spending some time driving into an appointment and back and I was able to listen to the full article. And it really is brilliant. Yes, there are a couple of things that I want to talk about with the article that I think are worth mentioning. But it really is a brilliant article and it discusses at length how menopausal hormone therapy, or HRT, as we used to know it, was once the most commonly prescribed treatment for women really struggling with symptoms. Now, many of you may have heard, if you've listened into any of my interviews in here, that in 2002, a single very imperfect study commonly known as the Woman's Health Initiative. It found links between hormone therapy and elevated risks for women of all ages. And as a result of a very poorly communicated press conference, global panic set in. As a result, the treatment's reputation was absolutely tarnished and women went off HRT in Drobes overnight as a result of the information that was very, very poorly communicated to the public alongside a couple of things that happened alongside doctors and specialists not wanting to prescribe the treatment anymore. But what also happened was Menopausal Health was removed from the curriculum for doctors in their university studies to become a doctor, because the attitude was pretty much, well, we no longer have a way to treat it, so why bother teaching anyone about it? We do know that hormone therapy carries risks, there's absolutely no doubt about that. But has the many other medications that people and women take and dozens of studies since 2002 have now provided reassurance that for healthy women under 60 whose hot flushes are troubling them, the benefits of taking hormones outweigh the risks. But as I mentioned, the treatment's reputation was heavily tarnished and it has never fully recovered. And the consequences of this have been wider reaching. So, as I said, you can read the full article at the New York Times website. They did a really super brief summary of it on their Instagram account. But more importantly, I would highly recommend that you have a listen in to the podcast version of the article published on The Daily podcast. Now, what I want to talk about around this article and hormone therapy is the one piece of information that I really felt was missing. Now after listening into the author reading the article, I do believe that she did cover off this little issue that I have with the article, but just not in enough depth for I feel for it to really resonate. And become highlighted enough in the article for women to pay attention to it. As much as the article articulates so well how women have been ignored and underserved by our medical systems. And yes, this is a global issue. I truly believe that to have a publication as widely read and highly regarded as the New York Times bring this out into the open is wonderful. It's an important piece that dispels the myths, the misunderstandings highlights the fear and untruths that have been plaguing MHT, as we call it today, menopause hormone therapy since 2002 and the Woman's Health Initiative findings. We really do need to make it clear and understood that hormone therapy can be a brilliant solution and treatment for many women. But it's really important that we include in this conversation that hormone therapy is not an option for all women. Women like myself, who were unable to consider hormone therapy. Now, there are many reasons why this happens. For me and for many women, it's due to a cancer diagnosis. Some women suffer from hormone sensitivity, and for other women, it's simply their personal preference. It's really important when we talk about treating menopause and also remembering that menopause is not a disease. So when we say treating it, it makes me feel a little bit icky. But every woman will require and seek a different treatment, and we must never, ever lose sight of this. When we speak about menopause and symptom management, we absolutely need to ensure that we are always looking at the woman that is standing in front of us, what are her individual specific needs? Hormone therapy, hormone treatment, menopause management. It is never a one size fits all approach. So when we have conversations around how a woman can manage her symptoms, we always need to remember that this will need to be a nuanced conversation with that specific woman, making sure that we meet her needs, her values and her beliefs. So that was the one area that I really wanted to kind of have a bit more of a public conversation about when it comes to this article. Yes, it's amazing. And I am shouting it from the rooftops because everybody needs to understand why hormone therapy has such a tarnished reputation. Understand what happened historically, why we are still experiencing a hangover when it comes to prescribing this for women, or women considering it to be an option for them, but always remembering that every woman will be different and that hormone therapy is not a panacea for everything or for everyone. I'd like to know what your thoughts are. Did you read the article? Did it cross your timeline? Did it come into your kind of world? And if it did, what did you think? If you've got an opportunity to read it, what did you think? If you read other commentary on it, what did you think about their thoughts around the article? I'd really, really love to know what you thought about this article as well, so you can reach out to me on my email, which is Sonya. Sonya at Stellarwomen. S-T-E-L-L-A-R-W-O-M-E Au. But don't worry, I'm definitely going to put that into the show notes for you and you can always reach out to me on Instagram. I am on my Stellar Woman underscore by underscore Sonya account all day. It pains me to say that, but I definitely am on there a lot every day. And you can hit me up in the DMs and I would love to hear from you. Is this an article that you're interested in? Is it something that you read? What are your thoughts on hormone therapy? What has your experience been? So hit me up and share all of that info with me. The last topic that I wanted to talk about today is a little bit of self promotion. But I think that you will be very interested to know that I am hosting the very first Deer Menopause Live. It will be held here in Sydney, which is where I live in Australia on Saturday the 6 May. It is going to be a morning so, a brunch slash morning tea type of situation. I have four incredible guest speakers lined up. I have been likening myself to the Graham Norton of the menopause world. My big vision for this event is I will have my amazing guests on a couch. I'll be sitting in a chair close by, I'll be chatting with them. We will be running through certain questions, having interactive conversations which I'll be guiding. And then there will be interaction between the guests themselves as well as me putting them through some questions that I will have preprepared and preprepared them for as well. And there will be the opportunity, if you are in the room, to participate in a Q and A as well. I have secured the most beautiful ocean front venue. It is going to be such a lush event. We are going to have a room packed with wonderful women. We are going to connect, we are going to bond, we are going to learn, and I can guarantee we are going to laugh as well. I got to experience being in a room of women towards the end of last year for the first time in obviously a few years. And I had literally forgotten the magic that happens when you put a group of women in a room together. It is nourishing for the soul, it is nourishing for your heart. And the guests that I have lined up for you are also going to nourish your brain. So this is going to be an amazing event. Tickets will be on sale soon, but I have a place where you can go to register your interest in attending and I will link all of that through in the show notes. Next, I want to know who do you want me to interview next on Dear Menopause? Who would you like me to connect with? Who can you connect me with that you think would bring great conversation, great education, and some fun and laughter to the Dear Menopause podcast? I'm not going to repeat all those contact details. I'll pop them in the show notes, but please reach out to me. I create this content for you. So I want to be sure that I'm bringing you guests that interest you. So hit me up. Tell me who you want on the show and I will do my absolute best to have them. And hey, if you're someone that is connected with someone that you think would be a great guest, then please connect us. I am open to all sorts of conversations and I hope to bring you amazing podcast episodes as a result. The other thing that I would like to know, if you don't mind taking a moment, is what did you like about this episode? I have plans to do more of these let's Chat episodes throughout this year and I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head. But as always, I want to know what you think. I want to know what you liked about this episode, and if you have any suggestions, then hey, hit me up. Definitely open to learning what you guys would like and then delivering what I can off the back of that. Okay, guys, that is everything that I wanted to share with you today. I truly hope that you have enjoyed this episode of let's Chat, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

[18:30] Sonya: Thank you for listening today. I am so grateful to have these conversations with incredible women and experts, and I'm grateful that you chose to hit play on this episode of Dear Menopause. If you have a minute of time today, please leave a rating or a review. I would love to hear from you because you are my biggest driver for doing this work. If this chat went way too fast for you and you want more, head over to Au podcast for the Show Notes. And while you're there, take my Midlife quiz to see why it feels like Midlife is messing with your head.