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New Phone App to Help Women Living with Early Menopause

About 20% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia this year will be women under the age of 45 and around 2/3 of them will experience early menopause as a side effect of their treatment. The onset of early menopause can be distressing for many as it not only effects the ability of a woman to have children but can lead to a range of symptoms impacting both physical and emotional wellbeing. In the long-term early menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

For such a common condition, there have historically been few resources available for women living with early menopause. Now, NBCF in partnership with the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia have funded a project that has led to the launch of a free website and phone application, to provide information and support to those in need.

The project was led by the Monash Centre for Health Research Implementation (MCHRI) Monash University with leads including Associate Professors Amanda Vincent and Jacqueline Boyle, and Professor Renata Kakanovic and Professor Helena Teede.

This team completed a study investigating current knowledge of early menopause in women and health professionals and identified several significant gaps. Using the data collected, the team developed a set of digital resources that can be accessed via a website or phone app. Topics covered include: What is early menopause, Causes of early menopause, Diagnosis of early menopause, Health impacts of early menopause, and Psychological and sexual health. Users are also able to learn more about the various treatment options that are available for early menopause and watch videos from women sharing their own personal experiences of the condition.

Assoc Professor Vincent, who also leads multiple statewide services supporting women with early menopause, explained that the app has been designed to improve knowledge of early menopause for a wide variety of people, from patients and family members to medical care providers.

“This app assists women with breast cancer to increase their understanding of early menopause, and how to manage it,” she said.

Professor Teede noted that “in the long-term, this resource will also promote increased health professional understanding of early menopause, to potentially improve clinical care and reduce care variation.”

The askearlymenopause evidence-based and freely available app can be downloaded for free from the website.

NBCF is proud to have supported the development of this resource, which will help many women experiencing early menopause to have a better understanding of their symptoms and ultimately improve their quality of life.