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This Week in Women’s Health – 25th August 2023

Author: Forth

August 25, 2023

Female health

Women in yellow top drinking coffee

This week we take a look at support groups for menopause in the workplace, menopause education programmes, menstrual cycle exercise apps and more. 

Businesses support women going through menopause

Menopause continues to become less taboo in the workplace, with one train operator starting drop-in menopause support sessions for its employees. Menopause has had more time in the spotlight recently, with celebrities like Davina Mccall bringing it to TV with her documentary ‘Sex, Myths and the Menopause’. Despite the increased attention, the Government largely rejected recommendations to reform legislation around menopause in the workplace this year. It’s great to see some employers listening to their employees’ needs, but there is still a long way to go before it’s normal to expect a menopause policy at every workplace. 

Does your employer offer any menopause support or policies?

UK’s first menopause education programme

Recent research has found that 90% of women were never taught about menopause at school and only 60% sought out information when they started experiencing menopause symptoms. Because of this, Professor Joyce Harper is leading a programme to educate women on menopause, along with other key doctors in the industry. The programme is aimed at making resources available to women entering menopause, such as the symptoms and changes they’ll go through. 

Work on the programme is due to start in September 2023. If you’re looking for menopause resources in the meantime, we have lots of content in our blog on perimenopause, menopause, female health and more.

HARNA – the new menstrual cycle exercise app

Exercise is hard at the best of times, but it can be extra challenging during certain phases of your menstrual cycle. Artur Markarian has created HARNA to help women exercise throughout their menstrual cycle, with workouts planned depending on where you are in your cycle. 

Their mission is ‘to help women implement physical activity into their daily life and achieve their fitness goals regardless of the common obstacles, such as menstrual cycle, work, childcare and housework.’.

The app currently costs £19.99/month, and includes ‘personalised workout routines, cycle-synced activity and periods phase calendar’. We’ve downloaded HARNA to give it a go!

If you want to find out more about how your hormones fluctuate during your menstrual cycle, our MyFORM® Female Hormone Mapping blood test can help. Unlike single-day tests, ours uses blood samples from day 14 and day 21 of your cycle. We then use groundbreaking AI to map how your hormones have changed across your entire cycle. 

Can menstrual blood be used for testing?

The benefits of blood testing are limitless, from finding the cause of an illness to tracking your hormones across your menstrual cycle. But one firm is testing the use of menstrual blood as a method for testing. Dr Naseri has started Qvin to carry out much needed research on the benefits of using menstrual blood for testing. She believes it could offer groundbreaking new health insights for women, although there is very little research, so it might be a while before there are conclusions to her hypotheses. 

The 2018 Health Research Awards found that only 2.1% of funding is spent on researching reproductive health and childbirth, so any new research in this field should be welcomed.

Would you use your menstrual blood for health testing?