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Menopause Or Menopause Transition: When Does The Biology Begin?

Menopause Or Menopause Transition: When Does The Biology Begin?

Does menopause really begin only after a woman experiences her last menstrual period? On average, the age of these women is 51 years. But ask any woman in menopause how she recalls the three to five years before she reached that milestone and most will remember that their menstrual cycles became more erratic and unpredictable. We now know that other biological changes also are beginning to occur.

What Do We Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause?

What Do We Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause?

It is 3 am, and while in bed, you are awakened by a sudden burst of heat in your face, neck, and arms that forces you, now drenched in sweat, to throw off the covers, only then to chill. With up to 75% of women experiencing this phenomenon during the menopause transition and 10% for a lifetime, what do we know about the biology of hot flashes?

Was The Women's Health Initiative Good Or Bad For Women's Health?

Was The Women's Health Initiative Good Or Bad For Women's Health?

Most women are familiar with the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the largest randomized controlled trial to date, sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to evaluate the role of hormone therapy in menopause to protect cardiovascular and bone health. Begun in 1991 as a proposed 15‐year study, women in menopause with a uterus were randomized to take orally either a placebo or PremPro®, a combination of Premarin®, a conjugated equine estrogen (CEE), and medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic version of progesterone. Women with a hysterectomy were given either CEE alone or placebo. In part, this $725 million study was intended to resolve the controversy over whether menopause should be embraced as a natural transition in life, a position taken by the feminist movement at the time, or, as proposed by such books as Feminine Forever (Pocket Books, NY, 1968), that menopause was a hormone deficiency totally preventable with hormone therapy.

Menopausal Intimacy - What's Sex Got To Do With It?

Menopausal Intimacy - What's Sex Got To Do With It?

Many women reach menopause and wonder what happened to their sex lives. They feel a decreasing desire for vaginal sex but crave partner intimacy and trust. Sexuality evolves as we age. Intimacy is defined in this context by Webster's Dictionary as a close personal relationship marked by affection and love. It also has been used to denote sexual intercourse. Intimacy in menopause does not necessarily involve sexual intercourse.

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Early detection and directed treatments have led to improved outcomes for women with breast cancer. Nonetheless, the gynecologic impact of these treatments is significant. In one study, 42% of breast cancer survivors experienced vaginal dryness, 38% reported that intercourse was painful, and 64% felt loss of libido. For many women, these changes affect her relationship with her partner directly, thereby increasing her risk of depression. Furthermore, medical treatment for depression can accelerate loss of sexual interest and further endanger the relationship. In one series, when 610 breast cancer survivors with normal sexual activity were given antidepressants, 57% experienced loss of libido.