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Online menopause registry launches


Michelle Wisbey


18/10/2023 2:25:43 PM

The Australian-first initiative was designed to created tangible improvements to women’s healthcare, shedding a light on the hidden condition.

Woman with head in hands sitting at computer.
Around three million Australians are currently in the age bracket when menopause usually occurs, between 40 and 60.

When Associate Professor Erin Morton unexpectedly began experiencing perimenopause, she was ‘horrified’ by the community’s lack of awareness about the stage of life.
 
She felt neglected and stigmatised, and baffled by the absence of information and support available to her.
 
That was when the Flinders University Director of Health Data and Clinical Trials decided to take matters into her own hands.
 
‘There seems to be a lack of knowledge across healthcare roles, poor access to services, negative attitudes, and lagging research to support women through this important time of life,’ she said.
 
And so VITAL was born.
 
The first-of-its-kind Virtual regIstry of peri-/menopause in AusTrALia was launched on 18 October, World Menopause Day.
 
The goal of the registry is simple, to gather information on perimenopause and menopause.
 
Its focus is to explore community priorities and create tangible improvements in healthcare outcomes, at the same time as collecting key data to identify trends and bolster research.
 
The registry is open to everyone, from perimenopause and menopausal women, family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers and policymakers.
 
Participants are invited to complete an online questionnaire to measure the actual burden of the condition on their lives, and the lives of those around them.
 
The quiz can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on how many questions the participant chooses to answer, covering basic medical history, perimenopause symptoms, community priorities, and its impact on quality of life.
 
Associate Professor Morton said VITAL was designed for women to be more involved in their own care.
 
‘I decided to create this community-driven registry to give a voice to the perimenopause and menopausal population; to define what peri really means, what really matters to them and its true, and hidden impacts across the country,’ she said.
 
‘I believe there should be more focus and funding on women’s lifelong health, and more attention made to improving their perimenopause and menopausal quality of life and subsequent health outcomes.’
 
Around three million Australians are currently in the age bracket when menopause usually occurs, between 40 and 60.
 
Up to 80% of those will experience some symptoms, and for around one third of people, those symptoms will impede daily life, and increase risk of suicide.
 
A 2023 survey conducted by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health revealed most women who had reached menopause had been bothered by symptoms in the last five years.
 
However, just 7% of mid-life women reported missing work due to symptoms.
 
VITAL is officially registered with the World Health Organization and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.
 
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