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New Developments in Women’s Healthcare

Hologic’s Global Health Index meeting in South Kensington, London

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Putting women at the heart of healthcare design and delivery

We recently attended Hologic’s Global Health Index meeting in South Kensington, London. The talk included speakers Dame Lesley Regan – the Women’s Health Ambassador for England, Caroline Nokes MP – Chair for the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, and Dr Nighat Arif, a GP and women’s health influencer. The meeting concentrated on women’s healthcare, with a focus on “putting women at the heart of healthcare design and delivery”.

As a team we strive to be involved in progressive and positive healthcare changes. Attending events such as these are important to us. It ensures that we stay well informed about the changes that are being made, both strategically through political change, and from relevant specialists.

Preventative Healthcare: If it’s predictable, it has the potential to be preventable

Dame Lesley Regan is a focal leader for women’s health in England, and during this meeting she drew much needed attention to the importance of implementing preventative health care for women in the UK. 

Health professionals understand in detail the various life stages and subsequent physiological changes associated with a woman’s health. As a result, a woman’s healthcare – particularly hormonal – can be (in part) planned for. Having access to this kind of information incites the need to preempt concerns that women are likely to have, rather than simply wait for them to happen. 

Osteopenia, dementia and heart disease, were stated as primary health concerns for women’s health during later life stages. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was discussed by Dame Lesley as she advised that the number of negative implications for HRT use were negligible when looking at the research. The above conditions are often concerns that can be addressed with the use of HRT / bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Cardiovascular disease, bone health and dementia have all shown a positive correlation with HRT in multiple clinical studies. 

We see a huge number of patients with endocrinological concerns, and so we understand the powerful impact that preventative medicine can have on a person’s health. We look to implement ‘healthful ageing’ or ‘preventative’ strategies for all of our patients. We offer bioidentical and body identical forms of HRT. Bio/body identical structures serve to increase HRT efficacy as they are molecularly identical to the body’s own hormone production. 

For further information on the difference between the two, take a look at our BHRT page.

Menopause and work place (yes, change is on the horizon)

 

Last year the UK government saw an increased focus on menopause management within the workplace. A focus that was in part driven by the amount of women leaving the workplace due to unbearable perimenopausal/menopausal symptoms.

The talk highlighted that women often have multiple life commitments. These may include looking after elderly parents or caring for children, which are often completed alongside a full time career. There are also clear financial implications that women face when having to choose between their health and their income, all of which are becoming increasingly realised.

Although male counterparts also experience a significant hormone decline, the hormonal shift is a lot steadier, and so the work-life balance is often less disruptive. That said, hormonal health for men in the workplace is still an area that should be addressed, and it is a specialised area that we do focus on.

Between the ages of 45-55 women are often at their most educated, and consequently most valuable to their employer, as they often hold senior positions. Dame Lesley stated; “the economic argument to keep women in work is overwhelming” – and we could not agree more. The Menopause Workplace Pledge has been signed by over 2000 companies, including Channel 4, BBC, Tesco and Royal Mail. This is evidence that businesses are willing to listen and help support their employees. A stance we hope will be taken by many other organisations.

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A patient centred, holistic approach

Dame Lesley said that it is important to “wrap the service around the woman”. That women should not have to see multiple practitioners for various concerns, especially when one specialist has been clinically trained to see and support with more than one issue. This centralises a patient, leading to an increasingly holistic approach to their healthcare.

This is an approach that we practise wholeheartedly at Harpal clinic. We believe in looking at the human body as a whole rather than separating it based on each physiological system. Of course, within public healthcare this is not always possible, however, the mere mention of this outlines the future potential to clinically link seemingly unconnected symptoms.

Hormone specialists at Harpal clinic

As hormone specialists, we see a vast number of women seeking support with menopause management. We look to support women so that they can remain within their career (if they choose to do so) alongside living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Our clinicians use the most up to date medical research to provide a holistic approach that is purposefully centred around our patient’s needs and requirements. Our high level of expertise for correct menopausal management is directed at longevity healthcare whilst also addressing a person’s current symptoms and immediate needs.

We are pleased to see that women’s health concerns are being pushed to the forefront, especially with regards to workplace support. We believe that it is in the employers best interest to investigate the ways in which they can support women during this life stage. This would not only ensure appropriate healthcare for women, but also provides a clear benefit to the business in which she has chosen to build her career.

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