Women can experience health problems at any age, from the onset of their first period to the menopause and beyond. They tend to be more proactive about their health than men and are also one of the key groups visiting a pharmacy on a regular basis. Period pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), thrush, cystitis and menopausal symptoms are all common problems that pharmacies may need to address, as well as contraceptive advice and general health and lifestyle issues.
Here are just a few key websites and resources that pharmacy staff can recommend to pharmacy customers – or even contact themselves if they would like to learn more.
Women’s Health Concern is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society. It is an independent service set up to educate women on all aspects of health, wellbeing and lifestyle concerns. The charity offers unbiased information in the form of factsheets (online and printed), seminars, meetings and workshops. There is a telephone and email advisory service, with a chargeable fee.
For more information, www.womens-health-concern.org.
The Menopause Exchange provides free independent information on the menopause and associated midlife health issues. It was set up by a community pharmacist and health promotion specialist. Women and healthcare professionals can sign up to receive free emailed quarterly newsletters and gain access to an Ask the Experts panel.
For more information, visit www.menopause-exchange.co.uk.
Menopause Matters is a clinician-led website providing information on the menopause and related issues. There is a print (and online) magazine, as well as downloadable information, videos and leaflets on menopausal symptoms, HRT and other treatments. The website includes access to the Menopause Matters chat forum.
For more information, visit www.menopausematters.co.uk/index.php.
National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS) works closely with healthcare professionals to improve the quality of care to PMS sufferers. The website also provides information for women, including treatment guidelines. Members of NAPS can access further information via the website.
For more information, visit www.pms.org.uk.
Breast Cancer Care provides care, information and support to people affected by breast cancer. The charity provides support nurses via the helpline, specialist information on the website and local support events and volunteers.
For more information, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk. Free helpline – 0808 800 6000
Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity. As well as funding research, it also raises awareness through its public health campaigns. The website provides informative breast cancer information.
For more information, visit http://breastcancernow.org.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dealing solely with cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The charity provides information on cervical cancer and emotional and practical support. There is a helpline, as well as local support groups and online forum.
For more information, visit www.jostrust.org.uk. Helpline – 0808 802 8000
Ovarian Cancer Action is a small charity helping to inform about ovarian cancer, as well as fundraise research. The website includes information and advice, as well as downloadable leaflets, and a BRCA Hub, for information on hereditary ovarian cancer (including a family history risk tool and genetic testing links).
For more information, visit http://ovarian.org.uk.
Target Ovarian Cancer is the UK’s largest ovarian cancer charity. It aims to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and provide support to women with ovarian cancer. The charity offers a nurse-led support line, ovarian cancer information, detailed information about hereditary ovarian cancer and genetic testing and local groups.
For more information, visit www.targetovariancancer.org.uk. Nurse-led support line – 020 7923 5475.