Conference aimed at menopause education

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One local woman is drawing upon her own experience to help women work through menopause.

Anita Dyrbye, organizer of the Menopause Day conference and trade show, is hosting a one-day conference focused on menopause on Saturday. The event will have education booths and keynote speakers throughout the day.

“My journey was a discovery and a learning. I realized that more women really need to better understand their bodies, and really recognize that going through the change is quite normal,” she says.

She says she battled through menopause at the young age of 30. Dyrbye had both her ovaries removed while undergoing surgery for endometriosis, which is a painful disorder caused when tissue that normally grows inside of the uterus grows on the outside.

Not having ovaries plummeted her into menopause. Dyrbye was put on hormone pills and was left to deal with her emotions.

She says it wasn’t until two years later that a friend told her, ‘I think you have menopause’. From that moment she says she has been on a journey of self-exploration.

This is the second year the trade show is running. Dyrbye says it’s focused on removing the negative bias attached to menopause.

“In this culture we tend to have a negative view on aging and women feel like when they hit menopause, they’re now old. They tend to run away from that,” she says. “The attitude women have towards aging has a profound impact on how she goes through menopause.”

Dyrbye decided to host the conference and trade show this weekend in celebration of World Menopause Day, which took place on Oct. 18.

Looking to her mother’s generation, Dyrbye says women going through menopause were called hysterical and were treated with anti-depressants.

While medication can work, Dyrbye says other supports need to be in place.

“We’re starting to talk about it more and there’s better support available than when I was younger,” she said. The more women learn at a younger age the better they will be prepared for the physical and emotional changes.

Menopause is divided into three parts: premenopause, menopause and postmenopuase. Women are said to have entered menopause if they don’t have menstrual cycle in 12 months.

With the advancement of technology, Dyrbye says doctors are starting to notice symptoms of premenopause as early as 38 years old.

The conference and trade show takes place on Oct. 21 at the Chateau Nova Hotel in Edmonton. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $32 online and $35 at the door. To get tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/menopause-day-conference-trade-show-tickets-37083737457

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Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.