• Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

Wellness Authorities Set the Record Straight on Menopause, From Symptoms to Remedy selections – NBC Chicago


Mar 24, 2023

Girls can commit considerably a lot more than half their life in menopause, but women’s wellness specialists say there are nonetheless several misconceptions about menopause care.

“A lot of girls assume hot flashes is menopause. That is 1 specific problem but, essentially, estrogen impacts so several elements of your physique — your bones, your brain, your skin,” stated Pat Handler, a nurse practitioner and a certified menopause provider at the Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause at Northwestern Medicine.

Handler explained the distinction amongst perimenopause, which can get started out in your early 40’s, and menopause.

“Perimenopause is when a woman’s hormones commence to fluctuate,” Handler stated. “Menopause is when a lady has completely stopped making estrogen.”

The symptoms are comparable for every single and incorporate:

Hot Flashes

Brain Fog

Weight Obtain

Mood Swings


Vaginal Dryness

“If we can make that higher for girls, which we can with use of hormone therapy. It is a win-win for absolutely everyone,” Handler stated.

Hormone therapy, on the other hand, took a substantial hit in 2002, when a study from the Women’s Wellness Initiative identified elevated wellness dangers for girls taking hormone replacement therapy.

“At that time, the estrogen and the distinct sort of progesterone that was prescribed showed a slight enhanced danger of breast cancer, but we do not prescribe that any longer,” Handler stated.

“We’ve found a lot contemplating that then. We now know that estrogen, in reality, does not raise the baseline danger of breast cancer. We also use distinctive formulations these days.So it is a lot of education for every single the public and for girls that, in reality, hormone therapy for girls who are considerably much less than age 60 and are inside five to ten years of menopause, it is extremely productive and protected,” stated Handler.

Northwestern Medicine made the Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause in 2017 to help girls navigate menopause and the unique remedy options.

Even although there are non-hormonal options as nicely, estrogen replacement therapy can incorporate a wide assortment of options — topical gels and lotions, a vaginal ring or even a small patch that is placed straight on the skin.

Maria Cantu from Chicago was referred to Pat Handler in her late 40’s, suitable immediately after her menopause symptoms came on swiftly and hit challenging.

“I wasn’t feeling myself. I noticed I was in a position to like shed a tiny bit of weight. And it was sort of driving me crazy. Also, I was acquiring these sudden bursts of just heat. I would just get started out sweating,” Cantu stated.

Cantu chose to get started out taking an estrogen patch and a progesterone pill, although her loved ones had reservations.

“My mom was like, that is undesirable for you. And I stated, nicely, specifically exactly where do you come up with this? How do you know it is undesirable for you? And she’s like, nicely, that is what I heard,” Cantu stated.

Eradicating that misconception is element of Handler’s job.

“It’s nonetheless stuck in a lot of women’s brains and a lot of doctors’ brains, just simply because the consideration has been so a fantastic deal on that study, which we know was flawed in several approaches,” Handler stated.

She says girls shouldn’t be ashamed to speak with their crucial care doctor or gynecologist.

“If they are not bringing up menopause and you are struggling, do not be afraid to bring it up.Ask the queries. And if they are not comfy speaking about it, then it is time to come and see us,” Handler stated.

“People are gonna go by way of it. And why endure? Just go see the specialists and get it checked out,” Cantu stated.

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