MUMBAI, India, December 7, 2023 – Global healthcare company Abbott is taking The Next Chapter campaign on menopause a step forward through new ways to break the silence around the topic. This year, to encourage meaningful menopause conversations, the company introduced a simple, engaging conversation starter, ‘Real, Made up, or Mine?’ at an event held in Mumbai. Lara Dutta, former Miss Universe, actress, and entrepreneur, who was part of last year’s campaign launch, participated in the discussion and advocated to reframe the menopause narrative and foster an open dialogue.
This event is building upon the 2022 launch of Abbott’s The Next Chapter collection of stories, a compilation of real experiences of women undergoing menopause from India, China, Brazil, and Mexico. From the impact of hormonal changes on relationships and careers to the toll on health and self-esteem, each woman’s story was meant to inspire more women to speak up about their experience, discuss menopause more freely, and reach out for support, including amongst family and friends.
Dr. Rohita Shetty, head of Medical Affairs at Abbott said, “Recognizing the tough transition that women go through during menopause, it’s important to help them and the people around them better understand how to manage this phase. We believe that driving conversations and sharing trusted information on menopause is an important step for women to get the support they may need to live more fully in this life stage.”
‘Real, Made up, or Mine?’ aims to help spark conversations with two sets of cards: scenario cards meant to help drive discussions and are inspired from the actual stories in The Next Chaptercompilation, while story cards are open-ended questions intended to drive conversations about menopause and general well-being. Following a quick show-and-tell of the cards, a few of the panelists, along with some audience members, engaged into an authentic and engaging exchange on menopause and ways in which it can impact various aspects of life.
Lara Dutta said, “I have been raised in a family of strong women where having open conversations around problems and difficult topics resulted in finding solutions. Together with
Abbott’s The Next Chapter initiative, I’m hopeful that not just women, but also their friends and family, are comfortable talking about menopause. Having this dialogue is key to help women get the information and confidence needed to take charge of their health.”
A fire-side chat with panelists including Lara Dutta, Dr. Nozer Sheriar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at P.D. Hinduja & Breach Candy Hospitals and Former Secretary General of The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Dr. Suchitra Pandit, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Surya Group of Hospitals, Mumbai and former President of The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), and Dr. Rohita Shetty, Head, Medical Affairs at Abbott India led discussions on women’s menopausal experiences, the level of awareness amongst people and the importance of social support. This session was moderated by Shaili Chopra, Founder, SheThePeople.
Indian women typically experience menopause at around 46 years of age, which is at least five years earlier than Western nations.[ii] Menopause has wide-ranging effects on their family and social life, work, everyday activities, and more. The Abbott and Ipsos survey found that over 80% women believe menopause impacts their personal well-being[iii]. Menopause may also lead to effects on a woman’s mental health and cognition, from depression and anxiety to irritability, poor concentration, sleep loss, and memory issues[iv].
While greater awareness can prompt more women to share their authentic experiences, it is also important to encourage family members, friends, and coworkers to join the conversation. They form an important ecosystem for women and equipping them with information can foster support and helpful dialogues. In fact, Abbott’s survey also highlighted that 91% of husbands surveyed feel that more women need to talk about their experiences regarding menopause to increase awareness[v].
When it comes to symptoms, while women are aware of commonly associated symptoms, they generally don’t consult a doctor immediately.Amongst those who visited a gynecologist, approximately 93% women consulted a gynecologist three months or more after experiencing symptoms[vi]. To help women identify menopausal signs and manage them better, Abbott also released a menopause rating scale. This tool can help women understand the severity of their symptoms, while supporting doctors in treatment decision-making and lifestyle suggestions to ease women’s hormonal transition into menopause and beyond.
Abbott’s digital conversation starter, and additional menopause resources can be accessed on its website, The Next Chapter – Womenfirst. Women can also check their symptoms on the menopause rating scale: Menopause Rating Scale.