This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on menopause. Erricka Hager, health advocate at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, spoke about this topic.
EH: Good afternoon, Ms. Bush. When I heard that we’d be covering menopause this month, I was thrilled because I know this is a topic that is meaningful for women.
EB: Yes, Erricka, it’s great that you say that. Menopause is such an important topic. We often don’t speak about it until it affects every part of our lives. Although menopause is a natural part of aging, most women don’t feel comfortable or know how to discuss menopause-related symptoms with their doctor.
EH: Absolutely! Despite menopause being a natural part of aging, all women experience different symptoms. Research has found that African American women are more likely to experience symptoms related to their menopause. However, navigating the medical world is hard enough—and even harder when the color of your skin can mean the difference between life and death. Although menopause symptoms may be worse for African American women, there are options that can help you understand your symptoms. Options include volunteering for research, using natural remedies or talking with your health care provider.
EB: That’s important to mention because African American women are being forced to advocate for their health needs. We need to know that we have options available for our menopause-related symptoms. I think African American women have to make difficult health decisions when they don’t have access to all the resources they need to make the decisions that are best for them.
EH: I second that. Dr. Rebecca Thurston mentions that African American women are less likely to see their doctors to treat menopause-related symptoms, and that is a problem. It’s important for our readers to understand that volunteering for research studies is a vital way for researchers to understand why African American women are experiencing worse symptoms. I encourage our readers to check out some of the resources listed on this page and to discuss them with their doctors to see if any of them will be beneficial to their health.
EB: Thank you so much for sharing your perspective, Erricka. We’ve provided some great information and ways that readers can take charge of their health today. I look forward to chatting with you next month as we discuss mobile health and lifestyle.
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