Premature Menopause and Daisy Network
Who do you turn to when you’ve been told at a young age you’ve had a ‘premature menopause’? Hot Flush asked the question and got the answer from the charity that works on the front line.
Dr Marie Gerval, Co-Chair of Daisy Network shares with Hot Flush the charity’s ethos and how ‘Daisy Network’ supports young women with premature menopause.
Daisy Network was founded in 1995 and is the only UK charity dedicated to providing information and support to women diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), also known as Premature Menopause.
Dr Marie Gerval writes:
Our vision is to provide support to women, along with their families and partners, who have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). We understand that this diagnosis can feel incredibly isolating, and often women are left confused and unsure where to go next.
Our aim is to:
Provide a support network of people to talk to
Allow members to share information about their personal experience of POI
Provide information on treatments and research within the fields of HRT and assisted conception
Raise awareness of the condition among GPs and the broader medical community
The charity was founded by a group of women passionate about making a difference for women diagnosed with POI and today continues to be run by volunteers.
Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and/or premature menopause, premature ovarian failure are terms that are generally used to describe the same condition. Unfortunately, there is still a lot that we don’t understand about POI and its causes.
In Britain 110,000 women between the ages of 12 and 40 are affected.
Approximately one in every 100 women under the age of 40, one in 1,000 women under 30 and one in 10,000 under 20 experiences POI.
In the majority of women (90%), no underlying cause will be found. This type of POI is usually called spontaneous or idiopathic POI. Not knowing why you have developed POI can make it harder to cope psychologically with the diagnosis.
Increasing numbers of women are experiencing POI as a consequence of surgery for gynaecological conditions, or as a consequence of cancer treatment with radio or chemotherapy.
As the ovaries are no longer producing enough oestrogen there are several immediate and long-term consequences of low oestrogen on the body as well as ones general well-being.
Short term symptoms can include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, mood changes.
Long term impact of low oestrogen affects the bone, heart and brain. Women with POI are at increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) and cognitive decline, however these risks can be reduced with oestrogen replacement which is strongly recommended for women diagnosed with POI .
If you have been newly diagnosed with POI and need more information or help please do visit our website : www.daisynetwork.org.uk
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