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    MENOPAUSE IS NOT A DISEASE

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | October 9th, 2016

    MENOPAUSE IS NOT A DISEASE

    I just came back from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) conference that was held in Orlando, Florida. The only advantage of going to a conference while there is a hurricane is that you stay focused. The hotel warned all guests not to venture outside.  This was the first time I attended a conference by NAMS and it was wonderful to be with practitioners that were passionate about caring for the mature woman. The theme of the meeting this year was “The Science and Art of Menopausal Health”.  The conference provided insight (the science) on ways to care for the mature woman with the understanding that every woman is unique and the care has to be individualized (the art).

    Menopause is the final menstrual period (FMP). It is confirmed when you have gone a full year without a period. The average age of menopause in the Western hemisphere is 52 years old; however age range can be from 40 to 58 years old. Prior to the FMP, women will go through changes and those changes can last for 3 – 5 years prior to the FMP. Due to the increase in life expectancy, women can expect to spend a third of their life beyond menopause.

    Menopause is not a disease. It is a normal part of life and all women will go through menopause if they live long enough. How we experience this time of our life is influenced by genetics, environment, culture, socioeconomic status, and attitudes. Some women will have severe symptoms like hot flushes, irregular bleeding or vaginal dryness and some women will have none or very little. We need to feel comfortable discussing what is happening to us – from head to toe. We need to talk about our moods and we need to feel comfortable discussing the changes in our vagina. QUALITY OF LIFE IS IMPORTANT.

    The goal of seeing a health care provider at this time of your life is to help with any symptoms that are affecting your quality of life. The clinician will provide information to help decrease your risk of getting diseases that may be related to aging. It is a time to talk about prevention and to make sure all chronic diseases are well controlled.

    If you have a smartphone, please download the free app- MenoPro. This provides information of what is available to help with symptoms so that you can talk with your clinician

    To get more information on Menopause, you can go to the North American Menopause Society website.

    If your clinician does not feel comfortable dealing with your menopausal symptoms, you can find a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP) near you – please click here.

     

    2 Responses to “MENOPAUSE IS NOT A DISEASE”

    1. Yvette A. says:

      Awesome Dr. Ngozi! The smartphone app is a real plus and good to have such information handy. Glad you’re back safely and thanks again for this practical tool that makes sharing info very easy.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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