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8 Things Your Mother Didn't Tell You About Menopause
by Nathalie Gamache, M.D.

1. You would have power surges…

Many women have hot flushes and night sweats during menopause. For most, these symptoms are fleeting. For others, quality sleep, good nutrition, regular exercise, and relaxation can help stabilize their thermostat.

2. Taking hormones doesn't mean you'll get breast cancer…

Many of our mothers found relief with hormone therapy, only to be told years later that it was dangerous or that it could cause breast cancer. Recent studies have established the safety of hormonal therapy if used early for moderate to severe symptoms at the lowest dose needed to achieve relief.

3. Sex can be wonderful after 50…

There is no age barrier to healthy sexuality, and people who remain sexually active stay healthier, live longer, and are happier. If you are sexually active with a new or multiple partners, be sure to use a condom and be regularly screened for sexually transmitted infections.

4. Your vagina can feel like sandpaper…

A decrease of estrogen often creates vaginal dryness and is a major reason why women become disinterested in sex. Water-based lubricants can prevent irritation and enhance sensation. Non-hormonal or estrogen-based local vaginal preparations are available as tablets, creams, or small rings and can quickly revert a sore vagina into a healthy one. These estrogen-based products are safe and easy to use for most women.

5. You could still get pregnant at 49…

Many women believe that irregular menstrual cycles mean the end of fertility. While it's true that fertility declines in the early 40s, about 50 per cent of most women's last cycle will produce an egg!

6. There's more than one type of hormonal therapy …

Nowadays, there are many formulations of hormones available that can be tailored to a woman's needs. Low-dose hormones, available in pill form, gels, and patches, offer significant relief of menopausal symptoms and can be safely used by the majority of women.

7. Taking hormones isn't just delaying the inevitable …

"If I start hormones now, I'm only masking the symptoms, and they will just reappear when it's time to stop…" Not so. Most women with mild to moderate symptoms see a slow and steady improvement of their symptoms in the two to three years following menopause.

8. You don't have to follow in your mother's footsteps…

Many women recall their mother's discomfort and reluctantly approach menopause. Although age and severity of symptoms may have a familial link, maternal history is not inescapable. Taking control is the most important step to restoring wellness.

A few things your mother was definitely right about…eat your broccoli, go to bed early, and educate yourself…HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY !

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the North American Menopause Society offer validated, information on treatment options and the latest research findings. Your healthcare provider is another invaluable source of information. More information:

Dr. Gamache is a practicing gynecologist and women's health specialist in Ottawa.


Article courtesy of:

Toronto, ON, Canada
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