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What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You About Menopause

In a recent New York Times article, the author details her spiral into perimenopause. A stage in life that she felt utterly unequipped to navigate, and yet when she reached out to the experts to help, answers remained elusive. I have been frustrated, confused, and given much contradicting advice from my doctors. Such as, "I am your primary doctor, you don't need a gynecologist anymore", HRT causes cancer, Here are some supplements I am selling, you can't be in menopause you are only 40, I have a pamphlet to read, you don't need blood work for menopause, you are either in or not in menopause. The list goes on and on.. and this is just from my doctors!

Nearly 75 percent of the global population is suffering from menopausal symptoms on any given day and yet it has remained a topic for dark, quiet corners whispered among close friends. Most medical schools and residency programs don’t teach aspiring physicians about menopause. Indeed, a recent survey reveals that just 20 percent of ob-gyn residency programs provide any kind of menopause training. Mostly, the courses are electives. And nearly 80 percent of medical residents admit that they feel “barely comfortable” discussing or treating menopause.

Women Have Been Misled About Menopause

SUSAN DOMINUS OF THE NEW YOUR TIMES, WRITES that menopause and perimenopause both lack research. In her article, she meets with women’s healthcare experts that span a range of medical specialties and cites stories of women across that nation who have found ways to cope with menopause–sometimes without relief or medical support. For someone, the only help they get is preparing the people around them for what is happening.

The menopausal transition is not the same for every woman. This phase of life may be marked by a varied combination of symptoms and conditions. One woman may experience hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep loss. Another woman might experience dry skin and an accelerated loss of bone density. Yet another woman may only be struggling with vaginal dryness and a decreased sex drive with occasional night sweats. The point is that the different types of experiences and the varying intensity of these experiences make it difficult to study and pinpoint exactly why it all happens and what to do about it.

The possible treatments for perimenopause and menopause, namely those that fall under hormone replacement therapy (HRT), have often been misrepresented and misunderstood by the masses. While the FDA approved the first drug for hormone therapy in 1942, a famous study known as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), conducted in 2009, cast a long shadow over the safety of HRT for menopausal women. Unfortunately, that study focused heavily (almost exclusively) on women who were aged 60 or older. Recent studies have found that not only is HRT safer for younger women who are in the earliest stages of perimenopause, but it could also reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. While some medical professionals have tried to correct the record about that WHI study, they haven’t been able to reach the same massive audience as the initial study.

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

It seems to me that we are at the beginning of a woman's menopause renaissance. Rebirth of our knowledge, beliefs, and opportunity to be self-advocates of this stage in our lives.

We at 2 See Transformation are rallying behind Menopause Renaissance and instead of seeing menopause as the death of youth, we see it as the new Transformation stage of life! And that stage is AMAZING!

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