Advertisement

The Doctor's Corner: An early start on treating menopause

May 21, 2013|By Dr. Jane K. Bening

This is the first of a two-part series updating women of all ages on the use of hormones.

It is a pleasure to be back putting pencil to paper with good news for women going through "the change."

A Global Consensus Statement, hot off the press in the April issue of the journal Climacteric, concludes that the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) outweigh the risks when started before the age of 60, or within 10 years of menopause.

An impressive array of experts from all over the world met in Paris last November, coauthoring the statement on behalf of the International Menopause Society (IMS). They hailed from such elite institutions as the Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Columbia, Oxford and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Advertisement

Represented were seven international professional organizations, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the North American Menopause Society and the International Osteoporosis Foundation. (To disclose, I have been a medical speaker for pharmaceutical companies manufacturing FDA-approved, bioidential hormones, ones you get from regular pharmacies.)

Why is this consensus important? I recently spoke to the eminent authority Philip Sarrel, emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, where he has studied MHT for 50 years. According to Sarrel, who was not an author on the global consensus statement, "The conclusion from the recent IMS meeting in Paris is that women under the age of 60, or within 10 years of menopause, should use estrogen therapy, that the benefits far outweigh the risks."

So there you have it. This good news should empower women to ask for MHT, instead of putting up with misery in fear. Even women who do not experience menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats, sleeplessness, exhaustion, loss of sexual interest and depression, are advised to consider starting MHT during their menopausal transition to live longer.

Among the bullet points of the consensus statement, the panel concludes that there appears to be a lower risk of venous blood clotting and stroke with estrogen taken across the skin. This means that estrogen pills are not the preferred type of medication.

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles
|
|
|