Articles and magazine reports and even books about so-called “menstrual suppression” describe taking the Pill continuously or for longer than 21 days with seven days off. The advertising suggests that this is giving women a “choice” to do away with menstrual flow or menstrual problems. The Federal Drug Agency in the USA has approved one oral combined hormonal contraceptive to be taken in four extended cycles a year. These new ways of taking the Pill allow companies a new patent on old drugs and make it likely that the market for these products will expand from those who want to control pregnancy to those who want to eliminate menstrual flow.
Osteoporosis and broken bones are an old woman's disease-right? No, that is not right! Young women do get osteoporosis-although rarely. The sooner we understand that young women can and do fracture bones and develop osteoporosis the better. We must accept that the bone we build in our childhood and teen years provides a "bone bank" from which we can borrow in older age.
For the woman who isn't trying to get pregnant, does it matter if an ovulatory pattern is normal? Recent studies indicate that it does. One study showed that women with only one nonovulatory cycle a year lost an average of 4% of their spinal bone. Strong evidence suggests that lack of cyclic normal progesterone is detrimental to good health.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the ways in which oral micronized progesterone therapy (taken by mouth as a pill) can be helpful for menopausal women with hot flushes, sleep disturbances or osteoporosis (menopause being one year after all flow has ceased).
This series of articles, originally published in the CeMCOR newsletter, illustrate the importance of ovulation throughout women's reproductive life. The articles explain what ovulation is and address some of the issues and implications of ovulatory disturbances.
Dr Jerilynn Prior discusses the accurate naming of women's midlife transition and what to look for to define whether you're perimenopausal.
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen plus Progestin (E plus P) trial was prematurely stopped because it caused harm (1). Until the Estrogen in women with hysterectomy arm (E only) of the WHI was also halted prematurely in 2004 (2), progestin was blamed for the lack of heart disease prevention. But now, five years later, doctors and media are still discussing Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and menopause as estrogen deficiency. The fundamental question is: Given these huge, great science WHI studies showing harm is caused by HRT, why has medicine not changed?
The largest and best-controlled trial testing whether hormone “replacement” therapy prevented heart disease was stopped three years early in July 2002. The Women’s Heath Initiative (WHI) study included over 16,600 healthy menopausal women without symptoms. These women were randomized to daily conjugated equine estrogen (Premarin, 0.625 mg) plus medroxyprogesterone (Provera, 2.5 mg) or an identical placebo. Hormone therapy increased breast cancer significantly (by 26% over placebo) and caused higher rates of heart attacks (29%), strokes (41%) and blood clots (211%). These risks outweighed this therapy’s significant benefits in preventing osteoporotic fractures of the hip (decreased by 34%) and colon cancer (decreased by 36%).
Since July 2002,hundreds of talk shows and editorials across North America have discussed these results. Many doctors and medical groups have offered criticisms. However, no one has yet identified what I believe is most important.
When periods are very heavy or you are experiencing “flooding” or passing big clots you have what doctors call menorrhagia. The purpose of this article is to define normal and very heavy menstrual bleeding, to explain what causes heavy flow, and to show what you yourself can do in dealing with heavy flow. This, and the article called “Managing Menorrhagia—Effective Medical Treatments” for your doctor or health care provider, are to help you avoid surgeries for heavy flow (hysterectomy and endometrial ablation) if you can.
We hear a lot of things about hormone therapy (often wrongly called Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT) (1). Most of the time when “HRT” is used it is referring to the treatment of women who had natural (not surgical) menopause at a normal age. Before about 1998 we believed that estrogen made everything better, but now most of what we hear is bad. And that bad news doesn’t apply to you! Early or surgical menopause needs hormone therapy, but natural, normally timed menopause does not. Some women with early menopause have told me that their doctors stopped their hormone treatment when the Women’s Health Initiative results came out. That’s how confused even doctors are! The purpose of this is to help you feel confident about knowing how and when to take ovarian hormone therapy for a long and healthy life.