Virginia: A UVA Health specialist and partners have penned a comprehensive new menopause guide that sheds light on the substantial and even unexpected consequences that the “change of life” may have on women’s lives, careers, and even finances. The work offers a comprehensive analysis of the current state of our knowledge and unmet research needs around menopause. Despite being aimed mostly at medical professionals and researchers, it provides intriguing perspectives on the effects of menopause on women in the United States and other countries.
According to article co-author JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, UVA Health’s director of midlife health, such insights represent vital information for women, their physicians, policymakers and society at large. Mr Pinkerton, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and executive director emeritus of the North American Menopause Society said,
Hormonal changes occurring during the menopause transition may be associated with physical and psychological symptoms including irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes, sleep disruptions and brain fog. Although all women go through menopause, less than 15 per cent of them receive effective, individualized, evidence-based treatment for their symptoms. Working with menopause specialists from different countries, our paper summarises what we know about menopause and calls for more research into the timeline and treatment of menopause. Menopause affects not only those going through it but also those who love them, live with them and work with them.
The researchers cite studies that found that moderate to severe menopause symptoms are associated with a decreased ability to perform work tasks and that this decrease is often associated with worse workplace outcomes for the women suffering them – especially for Black and Hispanic women.
This reduction particularly affects certain subgroups of women, including those who do not have a partner, those who smoke, those who are overweight or obese, those who serve as a caregiver for others and those who lack secure housing.
One survey of women in the United Kingdom found that those who reported struggling with menopause symptoms were more likely to suffer financial problems, depression and self-reported health issues, the researchers note. Mr Pinkerton said,
The United Kingdom is way ahead of the United States in addressing and minimizing the effects of menopause in women in the workplace. We need to improve our care of menopausal women both with individualized treatment options and address their needs in the workplace.
Thankfully, effective treatment options are available, and the new scientific paper offers a review of those options and which may be best suited for particular groups of patients. It also calls out one category of treatments that should be viewed with a skeptical eye: “Complementary and alternate medicines (CAMs) for menopausal symptoms have been frequently touted, are widely advertised, and have an overall dismal track record of efficacy when subjected to rigorous scientific study,” the experts note.
For example, popular phyto (plant) estrogen supplements have been studied extensively in numerous trials, but the researchers say no benefits have been found. Black cohosh, another dietary supplement sometimes used to treat menopause symptoms, has so far been found to be safe but of limited effectiveness.
Mr Pinkerton hopes that the new paper will help women and their physicians sort fact from fiction when it comes to menopause and that it will serve as an important roadmap to good health in later life. For women, “optimizing health at menopause is the gateway to healthy aging,” Mr Pinkerton and her co-authors note. Mr Pinkerton added,
We now have effective hormonal and nonhormonal treatment options for women suffering from menopause or at increased health risks as their estrogen levels decline. For menopausal women, don’t suffer in silence – ask for help! At UVA, we have menopause specialists available to help those navigating the menopause transition and beyond.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.