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Understanding Menopause in Trans+ Women



Menopause is a crucial phase in many women's lives, and this experience is not limited to cisgender women. Trans+ women also face menopausal symptoms, which are often overlooked in medical research and discussions. This article aims to shed light on the menopause experience of trans+ women, drawing from both personal experiences and medical insights.


Personal Journey and Medical Insights

I have navigated menopausal symptoms that are common among cisgender women, including memory fog, hot flashes, joint aches, and more. My doctor confirmed that after lowering my estrogen dosage, my levels are now typical for a post-menopausal woman, consistent with my identity as a woman with a trans+ history.


Despite the lack of extensive research, medical professionals acknowledge that trans+ women experience menopause-like symptoms. Treatments for trans+ women, like hormone replacement therapy (HRT), align with those for cisgender women. This is particularly relevant for trans+ women who have undergone vaginoplasty and rely solely on oestrogen.


In a previous article, I explored the broader societal impact of menopause and the need for increased awareness. This article delves deeper into the specific experiences of trans+ women. https://www.cynthiafortlage.com/post/perspective-on-menopause


Addressing Challenges and Fears

A significant challenge is the fear among some trans+ individuals that discussing menopausal symptoms medicalises the process of transitioning. It is essential to recognise that while not all trans+ people require medical intervention, those who do, like myself, need support and understanding, highlighting its natural biological process. For example, during my transition, while taking estrogen but still presenting male at work, I experienced a sudden and severe cramp that left me bedridden for days. With a hint of amusement, my doctor said, 'Cynthia, welcome to womanhood!' This experience highlighted the disconnect between my physical changes and my social presentation. While those cramps have subsided with menopause, new challenges have emerged.


Menopause in trans+ women, especially those who have had surgical interventions and hormone therapy, underscores the importance of comprehensive medical care. Addressing symptoms such as vaginal dryness, sleep issues, and mental health challenges is vital for overall well-being.


Fortunately, these challenges can be effectively addressed with open communication and a focus on comprehensive healthcare.


A Call for Inclusivity and Support

As a feminist leader advocating for women's rights, I emphasise the need for inclusivity, acknowledging the intersectional experiences of trans+ women. Governments and businesses must prioritise support for all women experiencing menopause, recognising the unique challenges faced by trans+ women.


Trans+ women's menopause experiences highlight the shared aspects of womanhood and the need for targeted healthcare solutions. By focusing on similarities and solutions, we can foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for all women navigating menopause.


Conclusion

Understanding and supporting menopause in trans+ women is crucial. Medical treatments for trans+ women align with those for cisgender women, and recognising this can lead to better healthcare and support. It's time for a more inclusive approach that addresses the needs of all women, ensuring that menopause is a topic of understanding and support across the gender spectrum.


By highlighting these experiences and advocating for comprehensive care, we can create a positive and inclusive narrative around menopause for trans+ women. Let's work together to ensure that every woman's menopausal journey is acknowledged and supported with dignity and respect.


Looking for More Information?


Despite the increasing recognition of menopause in trans+ women, research remains sparse. Medical professionals agree that trans+ women can experience menopause or similar symptoms, but detailed studies are limited. The following resources aim to provide support and information, bridging the gap where scientific research is still catching up.


General Resources: links to reputable resources on menopause, such as:

Trans+ Health Resources: links to resources specifically for trans+ healthcare or menopause support for trans+ women:

 

Share your thoughts, stories, and experiences in the comments below. Your voice is crucial in creating an inclusive world for all women.


Let's amplify the message of inclusivity! Share this article with your network and use the hashtag #InclusiveMenopause to connect with others who are passionate about fostering supportive spaces. Every share and engagement drives positive change.


Ready to take action? With over 25 years of leadership and advocacy experience, I support your organisation's journey towards inclusivity. Contact me at cynthiafortlage@cynthiafortlage.com to explore how we can work together.


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