O Special Report: What Nobody Tells You About Hormones
By Mary Duenwald
Everything you need to know about menopause (but were too hot, tired, confused, and cranky to ask)
Is estrogen safe this week? Does it matter when you start hormone therapy? What does "bioidentical" mean, anyway? Mary Duenwald scours the latest science for the answers even your doctor may not have. In a windowless high school auditorium a few blocks from where Highways 6 and 50 intersect in Delta, Utah, you could hear the rain and thunder picking up steam. But for 100 or so women attending a menopause workshop one Sunday, the storm was inside, where the topic of a lecture was about how changing hormones affect sex drive—not the sort of thing people usually talk about in this rural community of alfalfa hay farmers. The speaker was just opening the discussion for questions when the power went out. "It was just so perfect. Suddenly, hands went up everywhere and the women were asking all kinds of questions they wouldn't have been willing to ask when the lights were on. One wanted to know about orgasm—really personal questions," recalls Linda Ekins, 60, the registered nurse who organized the event.
That was five years ago; today the workshop has expanded into an annual conference called Women in Motion that draws 250 to 300 attendees. The idea came to Ekins when she realized she wasn't alone in having to bushwhack her way through menopause. All across the country, millions of women are dealing with the end of fertility, many of them muddling along in discomfort and frustration. It isn't just a jarring reminder that one is aging; it can also wreak havoc on the body—and the mind. read more...
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