EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a three-part series on menopausal hormone care.
The following is a hypothetical but typical scenario.
Leann is a 50-year-old woman whose menstrual periods have stopped. She is gaining weight, flashing all night and devoid of sex drive. Her brain is in a fog. Ralph, her husband, is beleaguered by his wife's crabby, Gorgon-like transformation. She repeatedly rejects his sexual advances. Leann's attitude is, "It's painful, but then who cares anyway?" She is terrified of menopausal hormones. Her general doctor encourages her to "tough it out," feeding her fears that hormone therapy would make her gain more weight and cause breast cancer.
In deciding what medical advice to give Leann, it is helpful to look at recent reputable expert opinions. New, slightly more permissive guidelines were published in March in "Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society". To disclose, I have been a medical speaker for pharmaceutical manufacturers of bioidentical estrogen.