Alabama Women’s Health Month: Menopause 2023


Women’s Health Month is May. The Mayo Clinic argues women misunderstand menopause. Six thousand women have this illness daily. Over two million ladies per year. According to the clinic, US women live to 81. If true, U.S. women spend almost one-third of their lives in menopause.

“Ma, I think I know what’s wrong. “All In The Family” actor Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic observed, “It’s the change.”

“You mean spring is coming?” Edith Bunker actor Jean Stapleton said.

All in the Family fans may recall this moment.

“Don’t you see? Hot flashes, forgetfulness. Gloria said life changes.

“At my age?” Edith said. I shouldn’t change yet, right?

Gloria said, “The article says it can happen anytime after 40.”

“And when it does, it can turn you into an old woman,” Edith remarked.

Edith Bunker was one of the first women to openly discuss menopause, hot flashes, forgetfulness, and mood swings in this 1972 All In the Family episode.

The Cleveland Clinic defines menopause when a woman’s reproductive system shuts down and hormones decline. Menopause typically begins around 51, although symptoms vary. The menopausal transition’s commencement, duration, and proper nomenclature and therapies are sometimes ambiguous.

Most individuals don’t aware that menopause lasts 40% of our life. Dr. Connie Dabezies, who helped create the University of South Alabama Eastern Shore OBGYN clinic in Spanish Fort to provide academic women’s health care, stated, “The science is catching up.” Dabezies is one of just seven North American Menopause Society-certified Alabama practitioners.

She says perimenopause precedes menopause. Perimenopause often begins in the 40s and lasts seven to 10 years.

Expect what? Dr. Dabezies indicated it’s menstruation changes. “They’ve stopped, spotted, or come in with systemic symptoms, hot flashes, mood swings, decreased libido, depression, anxiety, weight gain.”

Dabezies thinks only women and whales go through menopause and survive past their reproductive years. Most women died after menopause since life spans were low for most of human history. Some women get hot flashes during menopause. Some find it hard to work or function.

“Sweats and face flushing for six or seven years. You’re distracted. “You’re moody and irritable,” observed Lisa Blackmon from Mobile. Medically-induced menopause followed her surgery.

“You gain weight like nobody’s business,” Blackmon said. Hormones induce muscle loss. You don’t know how your uterus and ovaries’ hormones make you a woman and impact your entire body. All changed. My life changed.”

More women like Lisa are discussing menopause, once taboo. Some even laugh…

“Perimenopause comes at you in the middle of the night like a ghost,” said comedian Leanne Morgan. Her stand-up performance covers menopause.

You’ll feel like a middle school girl for ten years. Perimenopause is not menopause. Tell your doctor your symptoms.

Fatiha Jonson said desire may be a problem in marriages and long-term partnerships. University of Alabama at Birmingham women’s health nurse practitioner. She urges women to bring their partners to appointments to discuss menopausal changes.

“Having that conversation with their spouse present helps address the elephant in the room that maybe that wife or that female patient cannot have with their significant other alone,” said Jonson. This is normalizing. It’s not just me who’s exhausted.

Women’s Health Alabama Nurses Association

Menopause confusion includes symptom management. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a top treatment for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, according to the North American menopausal Society. Our story began with Doctor Connie Dabezies.

Menopause-certified doctors are rare in Alabama. She discusses symptoms, health, and family history with patients to prescribe therapy.

“Pregnant women are well informed. However, they arrive with menopause and don’t know what to do. They’re afraid of hormones and don’t sure if they want to treat it. I make decisions with individuals individually. This is my hormone recommendation. Try it, then return in three months. Check our progress. Adjust the hormone imbalance if necessary. We then discuss quitting.

Dabezies cautions patients against disinformation regarding therapies and keeping youthful.

It’s not just drugs. Sometimes it’s lifestyle changes. She stated a diet or fitness regimen can help.

Dr. Dabezies advises ladies that menopause may be a fantastic moment when they finally have more time for themselves and can accomplish things they always wanted to do.

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