Menopause is an inevitability to all women, yet the doctors who should be their advocate, their OBGYN physicians get less than a total of 3 hours of training in treating the hormonal changes that every woman will experience.
Symptoms of Menopause for 7 years to death:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal infections
- Bladder spasms and incontinence
- Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of testosterone loss, right before or with Menopause (Last forever):
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Loss of strength
- Loss of quality of life
This assessment was done by the AARP magazine and certainly rings true to my memory of OBGYN training. Not every woman gets a hysterectomy, or has a baby but EVERY woman goes through menopause!
The American college of OBGYN has no requirements for menopausal training, even though both written and oral exams to become an OBGYN require hundreds of hours of training in surgery and obstetric procedures, women over the age of 45 are not of interest to the only specialty that should and could train erudite hormonal experts that would guide all women through the change.
Here are some facts:
- 1/3 of American women are menopausal
- only one out of every four woman who seek treatment for menopausal symptoms get treatment for those symptoms.
- By 2020, 50 million women will be menopausal in the US.
- The loss of estrogen without replacement increases the onset of heart disease,Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and Diabetes.
- Women who have hysterectomies before menopause should be given estrogen to maintain their life-span and prevent the above diseases.
- Gynecologists shun hormone therapy for their patients because, it is easier not to talk about them and they think that women should tough it out with nothing—laziness causes them to avoid the whole subject saying, I don’t believe in hormonal therapy(like it was a religion!).
- The majority of women lose their sex drive and their marriages after 40 because they lack the hormone, testosterone, which the college of OBGYN does not even recognize as a female hormone!
- The Green Journal that every OBGYN reads has 75% of their articles on obstetrics, and the rest about procedures like laparoscopy, HPV infections and endometriosis, all diseases of young women. Rarely is there anything written about how to take care of the symptoms of menopause, unless there is another new drug that is 10times as expensive as estrogen and testosterone replacement and which does not relieve the symptoms.
- New drugs come out all the time to bring women back to productivity and youth, but they are either blocked by the FDA (like the testosterone patch for women) and never come to production, or the FDA demands that the dose is so low that the hormones they are given don’t do any good.
- In 1908 women only were expected to live to age 51 and didn’t have to worry about menopause because that is when menopause begins. In 2019 women’s life expectancy is around 85,which adds 34 years of menopause!
Menopause is the phase of a woman’s life that rebuilds the glass ceiling and keeps women from successfully competing with men, after age 45. When I was a medical school student deciding on which OBGYN residency to apply to, the head of the University of Missouri OBGYN department, Dr. Hall, a self-proclaimed misogynist told me that women should not be OBGYNs. We weren’t smart enough, we wouldn’t use our education because we were going to have children and quit our OBGYN profession. It never once occurred to him that we would take over the profession within 30 years. But we did this arduous task under duress, working actively after menopause with hot flashes, insomnia and night sweats of our own, while working 90 hours a week and delivering hundreds,literally thousands of babies. Needless to say, I would never work for a man like Dr. Hall, so I applied to a residency in St. Louis with a more open-minded faculty. The attitude toward women was still unwelcoming to female physicians,but we accepted 2 women out of every 16 residents…and that was considered open minded! The men I trained with and our professors are still following the archaic practice of telling women to suck it up or learn to live with it when confronted with the symptoms of menopause,instead of giving them much needed relief. Maybe the next generation will be different!
But currently, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of women every year take a handful of unnecessary pills because their doctors are offering a drug for every symptom, instead of estrogen and testosterone for all of the symptoms. These same women aren’t feeling better…they are just placated….I hate being placated! It is a 20th century male to female communication trend that treated women like children.
Never in the popular media do we hear, “When hormone replacement therapy is applied properly, women can get their minds, bodies, and marriages back!” It is easy to scare women enough to avoid a necessary treatment like hormones, but that is what the WHI did in 2001, and it is impossible to retread their minds. But the women who stopped their hormones after that study realized what they were missing and quickly asked for replacement prescriptions….but by then, their doctors were convinced that prescribing hormones for menopause was dangerous to THEIR health…..the fear of malpractice cases. I continued to prescribe hormones in 2001 and when my ovaries were removed in 2002 I tried every hormone replacement available that was approved by the FDA. They were a fraction of the dose needed, so I looked to compounded hormone replacement. Compounding pharmacies are the old fashioned pharmacists—very bright menand women—who provide the drugs that the FDA refuses to offer. With compounded hormone pellets (estradiol and testosterone) I was relieved of all the symptoms of menopause and got mylife back.
As a physician, it takes “cahones” to practice medicine in the face of the powers that be, but that is how medicine grows—by courageous men and women willing to face the criticism of others for the good of their patients. It also takes a great deal of time to teach yourself new information about new treatments and learn the medicine and physiology of the problem and treatment, after only getting 3 hours of hormonal training in OBGYN residency!
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.