Saving our daughters from the tragedy of untreated menopause

When I was 25 I remember going for a routine gynecological exam. When the exam was over I remember asking the doctor about what happens at menopause. He took me by the shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You won't even notice it" and then he walked out of the room.

I knew he was lying to me because my poor mother was suffering terribly from horrible hot flashes day and night. One day we counted 32 hot flashes in the span of just 2 hours. My mother was up all hours of the night, was very curt with all of us, barely spoke to my dad and had terrible bags under her eyes. She was the definition of miserable. My entire family was miserable. How could this doctor say to me that I wouldn't even notice it?

As time went on my mother and father appeared to adjust to it. It broke my heart to see them so distant from each other, arguing instead of laughing and barely tolerating each other. It wasn't like that before the hot flashes. After watching my parent's marriage suffer so much I swore off marriage. I didn't see the point to marriage if it meant barely tolerating each other.

Years later I changed my mind and decided to get married. At my wedding my dad said to me," You'll have it better. We live in better world now". I knew he was talking about his relationship with my mom but that was all. I never really made any connection with menopause and what happened to them.

When I was 42 I too began to suffer the symptoms of menopause and experienced firsthand the dramatic negative effect it can have on a marriage. Only then did I begin to understand what my dad was referring to. He was right. We do live in a better world now. Women can get some relief from the devastating effects of hypogonadism (menopause) from some products on the market, but only if you can find a doctor to prescribe them.

I want even better for my daughters. They deserve to be able to walk into a doctor's office and expect the doctor to understand the importance of treating hypogonadism. The doctor deserves to be able to prescribe effective and convenient products. Women deserve to make the choice about treatment, not be forced to forgo treatment because of flawed and outdated data.

How can we save our daughters from the tragedy of untreated menopause? We can make this happen by expecting treatment ourselves. When you walk into your doctor's office be sure to let the doctor know that you want treatment for hypogonadism because treatment is healthier than no treatment. You want your doctor to use ovarian replacement (estradiol, testosterone, progesterone, and dhea) because you deserve treatment and you deserve products that are effective. Expect your doctor to treat your hypogonadism effectively and to use bioidentical products, just like in every other area of medicine. That's how we are going to protect our daughters and ourselves from the unnecessary ill health and poor quality of life of untreated hypogonadism.

We only have one life to live and we should lead it as healthy as possible.

Together we can save our daughters from the tragedy of untreated hypogonadism.
1/3/2008 10:28:17 PM
Beth Rosenshein
Written by Beth Rosenshein
Beth Rosenshein is an electrical/bio-medical engineer and is very familiar with medical research. She holds two United States patents, one for a unique design of a vaginal speculum, and one for a clever urinary collection device specifically designed for women. Beth discovered and documented an important drug interaction...
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Dear earlyperi27, What you are describing are the symptoms of hypogonadism, which are the same symptoms for women and men. At any age this illness is treatable, from your age to the very old. You are correct. The lack of hormones ages us much more than our years! In fact, low hormone levels accelerate the aging process at every age and only causes longterm ill health. Every person who has hypogonadism needs to have their hormone levels checked so the right amount of replacement can be made. Have you had your levels checked? Have you looked into why you would be experiencing hypogonadism following the birth of your daughter? It could be for reasons other than your ovaries running out of eggs. It is very important to find the reason for your low hormone levels so you can receive the proper treatment. For instance, believe it or not, insulin resistance can cause your ovaries to slow down. If that is the cause a prescription of metformin could reverse your hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is very unhealthy but is treatable. Find out why you have it and then request treatment from your doctor. If your doctor refuses then go to another doctor. Don’t stop until you receive appropriate treatment. You will be setting a wonderful example for your daughter. Let me know if you have further questions. Beth
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
I am 29 years old and believe I started going through perimenopause at 27 due to severe severe sleep deprivation after the birth of my daughter. I've had saliva tests (which are more accurate than blood) which show me to be in very menopausal hormone ranges. I have every symptom. Mine has been untreated. I know that I will NEVER find another woman my age who has not taken any hormones and is going through perimenopause. Why?? Because it dosent matter if you are young, your body treats it the same and you begin to go through the aging process. Wrinkles, sagging skin, sagging and shrinking breasts I've experienced all of this. And no, my breasts did not sag or shrink after I had my daughter AT ALL. I did not breastfeed. It started happening about a year and a half later. The really wierd thing is if you don't treat menopause (considering it usually occurs when you ARE much older like 50 or so years old) your time perception starts to change too. I'm only 29 and time now goes 50% faster for me. I'm on the same time perception schedule as my mom who is 67. No, it wasn't having children. My time was fine after my daughter was born. It isn't age that changes everything; its HORMONES that age us. Since I didn't use any hormone therapy, I'm going through the same change as a 50 or 55 year old woman; how do my hormones know I'm 29? This is irritating the heck out of me!!!!!! I can't even enjoy my friends anymore. I'll hang out with them all day and it only feels like it was a few hours. And to them, they are thinking wow she has been here forever!
Posted by earlyperi27
I recently had this same conversation with my mother and she asked the same questions. I think your friends do love their daughters and grand-daughters as much as you do, but they just don’t realize that things can be different. That is why I formed Diamond Research Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to help educate both patients and their healthcare providers about the real effects of hypogonadism (menopause) and what can be done about it. In particular, the foundation offers a brochure called “Understanding Menopause” which you can use to help your friends understand the situation better and take a more progressive position. By understanding our options and working with our doctors we can help usher in a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
What is wrong with these women? Don't they love their daughters the way I love my daugther and granddaughters? Shouldn't they have a better life than we had? There are products available that can keep us healthy and our marriages healthy! We should look to the future and stop being static and saying this is the way it is. We need to be progressive in our thoughts. Our ovaries have failed us but we should not fail our daughters or ourselves.
Posted by Mssgprts
I understand your frustration and I agree that often doctors are uncomfortable treating hypogonadism (menopause). However you and your doctor should be commended for treating it. We will make a difference for the future for our children by expecting and receiving treatment for ourselves. It is unfortunate that the women you spoke to about this were not interested. Again, the fact that you brought up this subject and wanted to talk about it starts everyone thinking about it. Keep up the good work. Beth
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
I am 72 years old and I am tired of fighting with doctors. I am on hormone replacement, basically healthy and want to enjoy my life. I find doctors a pain in the butt because they don't listen to me. I want more for my daugher and granddaughers because I want them to have a good life. Menopause sucks! Menopause is unhealthy! Menopause destroys marriages and is the biggest cause of divorce in families. Let's face it married people have sex for a reason - to stay connected! You can't have sex with menopause unless you take hormones! I read this blog and tried to talk to my friends about it. They were not interested. Some said, "I went through it and lived so will my daughter." Some said, why bother talking about it? It's a way of life, I got used to it, so will my daughter. I think this attitude stinks and its the reason why women are put into a situation in which their marriage is no longer valid because they no longer have connection with their spouse. Doctors delibertly deny treatment to women to limit them in how much they can function in society. That's just how I feel.
Posted by Mssgprts
I know this is a new way of thinking about menopause. I used to think that menopause was normal and that after a little adjustment life would be the way it was. I was wrong. Our body relies on all of its organs to work and it never adjusts to the loss of the function of an entire organ at any age. If untreated menopause were normal it wouldn’t be hypogonadism and it wouldn’t lead to disease. Hot flashes are just one of the symptoms of hypogonadism. I don’t know if they ever really stop. They just get less intense and perhaps not noticed any more. For some women hot flashes never go away and they suffer with them into very old age. We have been told for so long that menopause is normal and that life will be the same that we want to believe that. I would love for that to be true, but it isn’t. Women with untreated hypogonadism lose sexual function, may only sleep only 1 ½ hours at a time, experience loss of cognitive function, muscle mass, stamina, patience, change in taste sensation, tooth loss, dry eyes, dry skin, vaginal shrinkage and inelasticity, sagging breasts, loss of hair, etc. Hypogonadism never gets better without treatment. If you start treatment and then stop it, hypogonadism will return. Ideally medicine should help women transition from ovarian failure to Ovarian Replacement Therapy (ORT) seamlessly thereby skipping hypogonadism altogether. It is unfortunate that although the technology is available to eliminate the suffering and ill health of hypogonadism, it goes largely unused. Treatment can make a woman feel much more like she did before ovarian failure and improve her health and quality of life. Through my lectures and email from my website I hear of a great deal of suffering. Fully half of my email is from men simply wanting their lives and their wives back.
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
Do you have any stories to share of what happens to women who don't treat their hypogonadism? Sorry for my ignorance, I thought of menopause as something that happens between 40ish and 50ish, then when your 60 your done with menopause. I guess I also thought that you are done being a woman. Can you shed some light on what happens after the hot flashes? Don't they stop at somepoint? Anyway, what happens when you do treat it? Do you continue with the treatment until you die?
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