One of my goals has been to change the idea that a woman can be a "healthy post-menopausal woman" without any treatment at all.
This is my goal because every woman deserves an opportunity to receive treatment and be as healthy as she can be.
It is more difficult to accomplish this goal when doctors actively discourage women from seeking effective treatment for a very real illness.
Recently, Oprah had a female doctor on her show who, for some time, has been telling women that menopause needs no treatment, that a woman's sex life should be just the same, and that hormone therapy should only be used for a short time, then life with chronic, profound hypogonadism, the name for menopause, should be embraced and enjoyed.
How can we help our daughters or ourselves if we aren't willing to be honest with ourselves? Dr. Northrup is a medical doctor openly counseling women to forgo treatment for a very real illness. This is her personal view because as a doctor she should know that menopause (hypogonadism) is a treatable illness in women and men. Would she say the same thing to a man with the exact same condition? Unlikely.
I received so much mail after this Oprah show that I did something that I have never done before. I wrote to Oprah.
I requested that, in the interest of fairness and full disclosure, she also present a more balanced and medically accurate view of menopause rather than only one doctor's personal view.
I have not heard back from Oprah though many people I know have also written to her to request the very same thing, a balanced view.
Let's be honest with ourselves. For those of you living without any treatment at all or poor treatment, ask yourself what you can do to make things better for your daughter and yourself. It's a tough subject because for some women discussing anything to do with menopause is intensely personal. Even if all you say is, "Be sure to get treatment for menopause", then you have touched your daughter or even a friend in a way that tells her that treatment is something she should consider.
It's a tough subject which means we will have to do tough things to change the future for the better for our daughters and ourselves.