The Postmenopausal Woman’s Declaration of Independence

Shira Miller, M.D.Women

When, in the course of human evolution, women live past their reproductive years and survive past menopause, it becomes necessary for them to decide whether or not to get treated for the permanent estrogen and progesterone hormone deficiencies that result in their bodies because of menopause. Menopausal and “postmenopausal women” need to make this decision because estrogen and progesterone deficiencies have both short and long term consequences on women’s health, and most doctors don’t view these hormone deficiencies as a serious condition that needs to be treated but rather as a phase whose symptoms need to be subdued. A decent respect to the opinion of doctors and the fact that women need physicians to write their hormone prescriptions requires that menopausal and “postmenopausal” women should declare the causes which impel them to choose hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and declare independence from the permanent estrogen and progesterone hormone deficiencies which are caused by menopause. Here are some suggestions:

  • Just because menopause is natural doesn’t mean its consequences shouldn’t be treated.
  • Woman’s bodies are in a state of estrogen and progesterone deficiency during both menopause and “postmenopause,” so “postmenopause” is really a misnomer, even if a woman no longer has hot flashes.
  • Just because aging women lose their supply of ovarian eggs (the natural source of female hormones) and ability to reproduce doesn’t mean menopausal and “postmenopausal” women need to live the rest of their lives in a state of estrogen and progesterone deficiency.
  • Untreated estrogen and progesterone deficiency cause hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, disturbed sleep, fatigue, joint aches, “brain fog”, memory problems, urinary leakage, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, low libido, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, accelerated skin wrinkling, accelerated osteoporosis, accelerated heart disease, and more.
  • Recommendations to use antidepressants, sleeping pills, herbs or yoga for some menopausal and “postmenopausal” symptoms may help, but these treatments don’t address the primary estrogen and progesterone deficiencies which are the primary cause, and therefore don’t provide optimal treatment and give women a false sense of security about their health.
  • Just because patent hormones have been the most studied and prescribed form of HRT doesn’t mean they are the best choice for modern women who have access to bioidentical hormones.
  • Bioidentical hormones are man-made hormones which are identical in structure to hormones naturally produced by women’s ovaries and therefore cannot be patented.
  • Not all forms of bioidentical HRT are alike and women’s reproductive hormone levels and cycles have a particular nature which needs to be respected.

We live in a country where we are still free to think and act independently in making health care decisions. Take advantage of this freedom, get educated about your menopause and find a doctor who is willing to support you in your declaration.

Happy Independence Day!