A different view of menopause

I have a different view of menopause than most. I see it not as a transition to be embraced but as a medical problem that causes a lot of ill health, and I see medical treatment as the solution to that problem. I am not talking about the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that was given to women in the Women's Health Initiative, because, from a scientific standpoint it wasn't HRT. Premarin is neither hormone replacement nor hormone therapy and calling it HRT is simply misleading.

Unfortunately, the failure of the Women's Health Initiative has meant that millions of women worldwide are not given the appropriate treatment that would significantly improve their health and well being.

Menopause is a medical problem because it is caused by organ failure. Menopause occurs when the ovaries fail and are no longer producing ovarian hormones. Without ovarian hormones the entire body begins to suffer because ovarian hormones help the entire body stay healthy.

Menopause is a medical problem and has a medical name, hypogonadism. The reason it is called hypogonadism (hypo - meaning less than and gonadism - meaning related to the gonads), is because the ovaries are gonads which produce sex hormones. Generally we think of men having gonads, but women have them too and in women they are the ovaries. Hypogonadism means that a person, woman or man, has lower than normal levels of sex hormones. From that you can see that hypogonadism is not unique to women. In fact, men with hypogonadism have all the same symptoms as women, hot flashes, loss of sexual function, sleep disruption, etc.

Here is something to ponder. Menopause is often described as normal and women are told that treatment is not necessary, yet there is no medical authority that will say that hypogonadism should go untreated. If menopause and hypogonadism are the same thing, how can one be normal and not need treatment and the other not normal and require treatment?

10/31/2007 7:00:00 AM
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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Also, I have had almost 6 months of hot flashes, but had a GOOD period in January--almost 9 days. I hope that wasn't the grand finale. I am 4 days late for my period and hot flash for 4 nights. AARRGH!
Posted by Pansy
I want ORT in Lexington KY. I am having hot flashes and some wierd periods. I DO NOT want to go through menopause. Who is the BEST practitioner?
Posted by Pansy
You are right that ovarian failure occurs as the ovaries run out of eggs. The rate at which ovaries use the eggs can be influenced. For instance, a woman who smokes generally will suffer ovarian failure (menopause) two years earlier than if she didn’t smoke. As a woman ages the ovaries begin to use more eggs per month than necessary. This accelerated use of eggs depletes the ovaries decades earlier than necessary. One of the reasons this happens is that the ovaries aren’t getting what they need to function at their best. I believe that if we give the ovaries what they need to function better, they would not use more eggs than necessary every month and ovarian failure would be put off for many years. So in answer to your question, yes, eventually the ovaries will run out of eggs. However, if we can help our ovaries work for years longer, we should do that because we are healthier with ovarian function than without.
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
Menopause happens when you stop menstruating, which mean you have no more eggs in your ovaries. So I'm confused are you saying you can stop menopause from happening? That would involve giving a woman more eggs. Or are you saying you can put off menopause longer? which would mean you slow down the rate you drop eggs. I've always heard if your out of eggs then you'll go through menopause, no way to stop or control that.
Posted by Jamie
Hi Sunshine, Treatment for hypogonadism (menopause) is fairly straightforward. Hypogonadism in women is caused by ovarian failure and the treatment is to replace the ovarian hormones to maintain the health you had before the ovaries failed. The ovarian hormones are estradiol, testosterone, progesterone and dhea. Since hypogonadism is a lifelong, chronic condition, treatment would be needed for the rest of your life. If at any time you stop treatment, the hypogonadism and its ill health will return. Treatment for any chronic, lifelong condition has always been done using bio-identical hormones. Think about insulin and thyroid replacement, both are done with bio-identical hormones. Hypogonadism is no different in that the most effective treatment would be done with bio-identical hormones. When you go to your practitioner and ask for treatment of hypogonadism it is important that your doctor not under treat you. Please read my newsletter on avoiding undertreatment for more information.
Posted by Beth Rosenshein
Hi Beth, That is really interesting, thanks for the information. What kind of treatments are available for menopause?
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