“Menopause is a nightmare,” my friend Monica moaned. “When a hot flash hits, I feel like I’m in Hades. I wake up half a dozen times every night. And sex is so excruciating that I’m tempted to swear off it.”
Sounds bad! Yet when I asked what treatment Monica was considering, she said that she hadn’t bothered to bring up the subject with her doctor. Why not? Because she was too scared of the side effects to even consider taking hormones…she didn’t think anything else could help…and it seemed to her that the whole topic was a confusing and contradictory maze of myths and misinformation.
Monica is typical. In fact, among women currently experiencing menopausal symptoms, more than 60% have not talked to their doctors about hormone therapy or nonhormone options, and 72% have not received any treatment for their symptoms, according to a survey from The Endocrine Society.
That’s why I’m eager to tell you about a new online resource that can help you sort out your treatment options and provide talking points to discuss with your doctor. The free interactive Web tool, called the Menopause Map, can be accessed at www.Hormone.org/MenopauseMap.
Relief Rx: Recently launched by The Endocrine Society and its Hormone Health Network, the map consists of a series of questions about your menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, interrupted sleep)…personal health (high blood pressure, diabetes, excess weight, unexpected spotting, etc.)…family medical history (cancer, blood clots)…and other factors. Based on your answers, it offers information on the various treatment options—lifestyle changes, botanical and vitamin supplements, topical and oral hormones—that may be appropriate for you. And it provides an individualized list of questions to ask your own physician…giving you an easy way to jump-start this important conversation.