Menstruation to Menopause – A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Woman’s Journey Round up
Earlier this year the Spinal Injury Team at Bolt Burdon Kemp hosted a series of free Women’s Health webinars in partnership with the Spinal Injuries Association. The series was called from “Menstruation to Menopause a SCI women’s journey” and as part of that issues of puberty, sex, parenting, ageing and the menopause were discussed.
The aim was provide SCI women with information that is sadly often lacking within their rehabilitation journey and also to break the silence surrounding these topics which are frequently, incorrectly, seen as embarrassing or ‘taboo’.
Professional speakers and SCI community members with lived experiences gave real insight, knowledge and experience on everything from Menstruation to Menopause. Highlights for me from the webinars were that use of tampons carried a pressure sore risk for SCI women. That there are genius parenting hacks, such as bathing a baby in a bucket and that for older women there are real challenges in working out whether their symptoms are SCI or the menopause.
The aim of the webinars was to improve the knowledge and to help improve the situation and we certainly did that. One attendee commented “ thank you so much for organising the sessions. The areas being covered are often brushed over or neglected in rehab so I’m really pleased to see them being highlighted and spoken about!”. It was clearly apparent from the webinar series the complete lack of specialists in this area.
Holding the webinar series also highlighted even further the lack of resources on these topics and how routinely they are overlooked. The webinar series were recorded and therefore, if you are reading this wishing you had attended please take a look at Bolt Burdon’s Kemp’s website where the recordings will be available.
There is no simple answer as to why this is an area which is so under resourced. I personally don’t think individuals should be left not knowing such important information and I am passionate about resources and information being accessible. It is therefore my hope to raise awareness and educate treating clinicians. By doing this we will then have truly been able to open the doors on these topics.
If you missed the webinar series, you can catch up with the discussion in the recordings below:
Webinar 1 – Sex, Intimacy and Relationships
In this session we discuss Sex, Intimacy and Relationships for a SCI woman.
Webinar 2 – Parenting with SCI
In this session we discuss parenting with SCI with Helen Thrussell, Advanced Practitioner Occupational Therapist and community members Anna Turney, Carol Barraclough and Emily Clacy.
Webinar 3 – Fertility and Pregnancy
In this session we discuss all things Fertility and Pregnancy with Felicity Ashworth, Retired Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist.
Webinar 4 – Menopause and the SCI woman
In this session we looked at Menopause and the SCI Woman with Dr Sucheta Iyengar, MRCOG, MA (Ed), Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist in Menopause Care