Posted by Ros Connors

Team GB Olympian Michelle Griffith Robinson on the menopause gap

Former Team GB Olympian Michelle Griffith Robinson is sharing her menopause experience as an Afro-Caribbean woman to highlight the need for more support for women from minority ethnic backgrounds, after new research has found more than half (51%) of black, Asian and minority ethnic women say current menopause advice is focused on the menopause experience of white women.

The Triple Jumper and menopause campaigner says the menopause was never discussed in her family, with little support for black women going through the menopause, creating inequality across the UK. Her thoughts are backed by Holland & Barrett’s research which shows more than a quarter (26%) of women from minority ethnic backgrounds say menopause support they have been given from GP or healthcare professionals hasn’t been helpful for them.

Cross-cultural research shows a person’s race and cultural background may impact how a woman may feel about menopause, the severity of their symptoms, when the symptoms might start, and even how long they will last, for example – on average, black women start menopause two years earlier than their white European counterparts and will typically reach menopause aged 49. A SWAN study found that for black women, symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats are more often severe and last longer than those in white, European women. The symptoms in Asian women are different again.

Ros spoke to former Team GB Olympian Michelle Griffith Robinson and Lina Chan, director of women’s health at Holland & Barrett.

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