In 2010 WCHM and Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT) jointly hosted a Making Your 40s Fabulous information forum; an opportunity for women to gather information on issues affecting them in their 40s such as hormonal changes, physical changes, physical changes, libido, sleep, emotional health and preventative health measures. The event was launched by 666 ABC Canberra Drive presenter Louise Maher and was attended by over 70 women. The evening began with the screening of a webcast by the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, which was followed by a question and answer session with three local health experts: Dr Linda Welberry (Senior Medical Officer, Menopause Centre Canberra, SHFPACT), Caroline Salisbury (ABC Radio Nutrition Presenter and Nutrition Consultant) and Leslie Betts (Physiotherapist, Southside Physiotherapy).
Louise reflected upon the negative ‘f’ words that are more commonly used for women in their 40s and replaced them with positive, and far more accurate, words such as fabulous, fit and fun. She also noted that big pharmaceuticals are seeking to medicalise, control and profit from women’s libido. She encouraged women to be aware of these debates, seek out information from all perspectives and have discussions with peers in order to come to an informed position that is right for them.
The night was a great success. It was especially rewarding to be able to deliver health and wellbeing information to women in a format that from our research, we know they prefer: face-to-face, with the opportunity to ask health professionals about individual issues and the opportunity for discussion with others.