A comprehensive new paper on menopause published by a health expert and co-author from the University of Virginia Health highlights the profound and sometimes surprising effects that “life-changing” can have on a woman’s life, health, workplace and even finances Impact.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of what we know about menopause and what we still need to learn. Although it is primarily aimed at doctors and scientists, it provides interesting insights into how menopause affects women in the United States and women around the world.
Co-author JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, director of midlife health at UVA Health, said these insights are critical information for women, their doctors, policymakers and society at large.
“The hormonal changes that occur during the menopausal transition may be associated with physical and psychological symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes, sleep disruption, and brain fog. Although all women experience menopause, less than 10% of women experience it. Fifteen percent of women receive effective, personalized, evidence-based treatment for their symptoms,” said Pinkerton, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and executive director emeritus of Northern. American Menopause Society. “We collaborated with menopause experts from different countries to summarize what we know about menopause and call for more research into the timeline and treatment of menopause. Menopause affects not only those who are going through it, but also those who love and are with them. The people they live with and work with.”
Coping with menopause
The researchers cite studies that find moderate to severe menopausal symptoms are associated with a decline in the ability to perform work tasks, and this decline is often associated with worse workplace outcomes for women who suffer from these symptoms, particularly black and Hispanic women.
This decrease particularly affects certain groups of women, including those without partners, those who smoke, those who are overweight or obese, those who care for others, and those who lack safe housing.
Researchers note that a survey of British women found that those who reported suffering from menopausal symptoms were more likely to suffer from financial problems, depression and self-reported health problems.
The UK is well ahead of the US in addressing and minimizing the impact of menopause on women in the workplace. We need to improve the care of menopausal women through personalized treatment options and meet their needs in the workplace. “
JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Virginia School of Medicine
Thankfully, effective treatment options are available, and new scientific papers review them and indicate which ones may be best for specific patient groups. It also points to a class of treatments that should be viewed with suspicion: “Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) to treat menopausal symptoms are often touted, widely publicized, and have a poor overall record of efficacy after rigorous testing. Science research,” experts noted.
For example, the popular phytoestrogen supplement has been studied extensively in numerous trials, but researchers say no benefits have been found. Black cohosh is another dietary supplement sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms and has so far been found to be safe but of limited effectiveness.
Pinkerton hopes the new paper will help women and their doctors separate fact from fiction when it comes to menopause and serve as an important roadmap for health later in life. Pinkerton and her co-authors note that for women, “optimizing menopausal health is the gateway to healthy aging.”
“We now have effective hormonal and non-hormonal treatment options for women who are going through menopause or who are at greater health risk from declining estrogen levels,” Pinkerton said. “For women going through menopause, don’t suffer in silence — seek out Help! At UVA, we have menopause experts to help those going through the menopausal transition and beyond.”
University of Virginia Health System
Davis, S.R., et al. (2023). Menopause—biology, consequences, supportive care, and treatment options. cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2023.08.016.