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HRT and Contemporary Lifestyles

Sometimes I am asked, “If HRT is so important, why didn’t my mother need it?” I think the reason is that women’s lives have changed greatly over the last decades. In past generations, women in their 50s often did not work and their children were grown. Now a woman in her fifties is likely to have adolescent children still at home, needs to contribute to paying for their college, and has a responsible, demanding job. And on top of that, she cannot sleep because of night sweats, is irritable because of mood swings, or has embarrassing flushing and sweating in the middle of a business presentation. The difficulties are considerable. A generation ago she might have felt just as uncomfortable but had relatively few demands on her. And she may have felt that nothing could be done anyway, an opinion that most doctors also subscribed to.

Unfortunately, the attitude that if you have a woman’s body you are destined to not to feel well still survives. Before women were taught not to complain and so often did not ask for help, which is very sad. Most women now take an active role in finding the kind of medical help they need. So two things have changed: women’s lives are more demanding (the price paid for being more interesting) and women expect, rightly, that they are entitled to medical help for their discomforts.

Even now, not all doctors understand the discomfort that menopausal symptoms can produce and how much they can interfere with normal activity. Women’s complaints, especially vague ones such as “overall achiness” or “mood swings” are still not always taken seriously and women, knowing this, sometimes feel that they are not being listened to. Though these were once dismissed as “in your head,” the more we know about them, the more we find that they have physical causes. You are entitled to be cared for by a professional who understands the hormonal basis of these problems, takes them seriously, and is willing to treat them.

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What is Menopause?
When does menopause happen?
How Menopause Feels
What is HRT?
Surviving  – and thriving – during menopause
The big question: HRT
HRT and Breast Cancer
HRT and Contemporary Lifestyles
The HRT Option
How is HRT taken:
The different forms of estrogen:
Estrogen as a skin patch:
The splendors and miseries of progesterone
What are SERMs?
If you've had a hysterectomy
Deciding about YOUR Menopause
I'm on HRT but I don't feel any better

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