Dr Nighat Arif is a GP with a specialist interest in women’s health, based in Buckinghamshire. In this week’s podcast, Dr Nighat Arif talks openly with Dr Newson about her work educating and empowering women from different ethnic groups about the menopause. Many women from ethnic minorities think the menopause is a condition that only affects Caucasian women or it is a western phenomenon. However, it is well known that many women are experiencing symptoms such as pains in their bodies, “head to toe pain”, low mood and anxiety which are being misdiagnosed and inappropriately managed as these symptoms are not being linked to the menopause. Although language is often a barrier to consultations with a healthcare professional, there are also many cultural differences that need to be explored. Many women’s health issues, including the menopause, are kept “under the veil” and not spoken about. In this episode, Dr Newson and Dr Arif also talk about other taboo subjects such as vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and how that affects marital relationships in a conservative community.
Dr Nighat Arif offers three take home tips in Punjabi to help break down barriers and empower women from South Asian Communities to not accept their menopausal symptoms and suffer in silence.
Dr Nighat Arif’s Three Top Tips:
- For all women, please keep a symptom diary. No symptom is silly and this is useful to your doctor during the 10-minute consultation.
- Never deny yourself treatment, there are always risks and benefits to every treatment and only your health and wellbeing will suffer if you don’t seek help.
- Don’t suffer in silence!