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What You’ve Never Been Told About Menopause

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What You’ve Never Been Told About Menopause

About 6000 women enter menopause every day and millions more are in the ten-year window around menopause called perimenopause. During my nearly 20 years at Harvard where I ran the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital, and more recently as Director of the Complicated Menopause Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with and treat thousands of women for their menopause issues. Many of my patients came in feeling frustrated and confused.

But I found that when I helped women understand the issues they were facing, it helped them gain clarity over the contradictions, misunderstandings and negative press out there about menopause. I want to help you become more confident about where you are in this transition, more aware of what is possible to achieve, and more certain about how to achieve it.

In this post, I want to tell you about What You’ve Never Been Told About Menopause.

1. What is Menopause?

AFL’s Dr. Mache Seibel

Menopause is defined as one year after your last period. The average age in the United States is 51 years. The range of menopause onset is between ages 40 and 55. Menopause before age 40 is called premature menopause. I have some patients who go into menopause in their early 20s. If both your ovaries are removed by surgery, that is called surgical menopause, no matter what age you are.

2. Perimenopause

Thisis the window leading up to menopause. Hormones begin to go out of balance and some symptoms may start. Perimenopause begins up to 10 years before menopause. That means that if you enter menopause at age 51, you may begin experiencing symptoms as early as age 41. So those occasional feelings of warmth, those suddenly whacky periods, those nights of poor sleep, those pangs of anxiety and that crazy brain fog may all be due to perimenopausal symptoms.

3. Age of Onset – and Alzheimer’s

If you go through menopause before age 48 and do not go on estrogen, your risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases by nearly 70%.

4. Hormones

If you have had a hysterectomy (your uterus removed) and you go on estrogen without progesterone, your risk of breast cancer goes down by 23%.

5. Sleep

Women in perimenopause to postmenopause sleep less, have more symptoms from their insomnia and are more than twice as likely to use a prescription medication to help them sleep as women who are premenopausal.

Dr. Mache Seibel, Founder of My Menopause Magazine
Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Founder My Menopause Magazine

PS: Find more information of this type in My Menopause Magazine, available for the iPad in the Apple Newsstand.

“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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