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First-of-its-kind 'Menopause Map' helps women navigate treatment
Date:5/1/2012

ne therapy.

"Left with the false impression that hormone therapy isn't a safe option, far too many women have suffered in silence thinking their options for symptom relief were limited or non-existent," says Cynthia Stuenkel, MD, a member of The Endocrine Society and an endocrinologist specializing in menopause at the University of California, San Diego. "We know that for some women, hormonal therapy provides the only relief for severe menopausal symptoms. Women deserve some clear answers and helpful tools to engage their doctors in meaningful conversations about the multiple choices available to improve their menopausal symptoms."

When a woman enters menopause, she stops menstruating and her body produces less of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. The process of menopause takes years. During that time, women may experience moderate to severe symptoms, including hot flashes, interrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms that affect her quality of life.

The survey found that 72 percent of women currently experiencing symptoms have not received any treatment for them. Other findings include:

  • Majorities of menopausal women experiencing symptoms have not talked to their primary health care provider or OB/GYN about hormone therapy (62%) or non-hormone options (61%), and half of them have not talked about lifestyle changes;

  • Nearly half (49%) of menopausal women experiencing symptoms have a negative impression of hormone therapy; and

  • While the sample sizes of African Americans and Latinos in the survey are small, only 17 percent of African-American respondents say they have talked to their doctors about hormone therapy, compared to 39 percent of white women and 35 percent of Latinas, suggesting that disparities may exist.

"Unfortunately, as in many health care issues, significant disparities exist. Add to that, many primary care doctors don't have enough info
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Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

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