As approximately one third of a womans life is spent post-menopause, doctors from Yale University hosted Yales One-Day Medical School: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Menopause but Were Too Afraid to Ask event on October 25, 2018 to provide essential health education for women 45+.
Public health and medicine improvements over the past 150 years have increased the life expectancy of women into their late 80s. While the age of menopause onset has not changed, the transition to menopause has larger implications as it relates to sexuality and overall heath, both physiological and psychological, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale University. Its important for women to recognize the early signs of menopause and learn how to cope with hot flashes, changes in sleep quality, joint and muscle health, sexual functioning, and hindrances to comfort in everyday life.
Dr. Rose Tamura and Dr. Julia Schlam Edelman, authors of Menopause Matters: Your Guide to a Long and Healthy Life, joined Dr. Minkin in addressing the following issues for the audience of both women and health care providers:
Hot flashes/night sweats:
— Estrogen pills, patches, or gels? Many women and healthcare providers prefer a transdermal estrogen, like Divigel, as it is discrete and does not increase risk of blood clots as seen with oral estrogen. Other benefits of estrogen include osteoporosis prevention, possible protection from dementia, improved sleep quality, decreased achiness, and help with mood swings and vaginal dryness.
— SSRI/SNRI antidepressants: A low-dose antidepressant has been shown to decrease the frequency and strength of hot flashes.
Vulvovaginal atrophy (GSM) or vaginal dryness:
— OTC remedies: A vaginal moisturizer like Replens is useful in treating internal dryness for up to three days per use, and a lubricant should be used just before sex to enhance intimacy, reduce abrasion and increase comfort.
— Vibrators: Self pleasure can increase pelvic blood flow and help reduce dryness.
— Vaginal rings and suppositories: These provide low-dose estrogen and DHEA treatments and can be applied directly to the vaginal area.
— SERMs, or Non-Hormonal Synthetic Molecules are a class of drugs that mimic estrogen effects in vaginal tissue that is safe for the treatment of women with certain cancers and osteoporosis.
|Other Yale faculty presented important information on additional womens health concerns.|
Breast cancer testing:
|Dr. Erin Hofstatter, Associate Professor of Medical Oncology, discussed topics women should address with their health care professionals, including genetic testing for breast cancer risk, when to start mammograms and other screenings, and which testing to do.|
|Dr. Jeffrey Bender, Director, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, addressed cardiovascular disease:|
— Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death for American women.
— Good health strategies include regular exercise, good nutrition and stopping smoking.
— Estrogen therapy offers benefits as part of a strategy to prevent cardiac disease.
Urinary stress incontinence:
Mid-urethral slings. Dr. Oz Harmanli, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences; Chief, Yale Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, presented data on the success of mid-urethral slings as a therapy for urinary stress incontinence.
Other preventive measures:
|Elizabeth H. Holt, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Endocrinology, outlined:|
— Diagnostic tools that detect thyroid cancers
— Guidelines for vitamin D and calcium intake, describing their role in maintaining healthy bones
We hope that through continued education and awareness women can enter menopause confidently, equipped with the information and solutions they need to lead the best lives possible, said Dr. Minkin.
The days sessions can be streamed on demand through the rest of 2018/19. Women will have the opportunity to see it on their laptops, desktops and tablets, or even phones, at their leisure, adds Geri Brin, Founder of FabOverFifty.com. We strongly encourage women to take advantage of this priceless education.”
Live stream available at: https://www.faboverfifty.com/events/day-medical-school/
Jaimie Weiner, 646-964-4446