Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Menopause Health Exchange. My name is Dr. Margery Gass and I am a gynecologist with 26 years in practice and a special interest in menopausal issues. I look forward to our exchanges. -- Margery Gass, MD, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)View Thread
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of women through an understanding of menopause. We welcome women who are interested in learning more about menopause to make better-informed health decisions.View Thread
Hormonal contraception like the Nuvaring, the Pill, and the Patch can camouflage menopause. Those forms of birth control can cause a woman to have a period forever. Meanwhile, your ovaries may have retired and gone into menopause status. It is often necessary for a woman to stop the contraception for several months to see if she is in menopause. During this time, it is important to use condoms, a diaphragm, or another form of birth control to prevent an undesired pregnancy. Typical advice during the menopause transition is to use barrier contraception until you have had one year of no periods. Then you can assume it is safe to stop all contraception.View Thread
The most common cause of bad odor coming from the vagina is a condition called bacterial vaginosis, also called gardnerella. The odor stems from an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina that causes a strong fishy odor. The odor is worse after intercourse because the pH of the semen causes more of the odor to be released. Prescription pills or cream can usually eliminate the bacterial imbalance. In premenopausal women, a not uncommon cause of bad odor is a forgotten tampon. Removal of the tampon will correct the problem. Gentle cleansing of the vulva with clean water is usually sufficient for hygiene. Any soap can be irritating to the vulva and in some cases can cause dermatitis, skin irritation, or rash. In most cases, douching is not recommended. A very strong or unusual odor should be evaluated by a clinician.View Thread
Wanting to have sex a bit more than usual is not a typical symptom of menopause. There are fluctuations in levels of desire that happen throughout life. Many factors play into a woman"019s level of desire. At menopause, desire can increase, decrease, or stay the same.View Thread
A. Many women find the time around menopause stressful. This may be partially due to hormonal changes and resulting bothersome symptoms, including hot flashes and disrupted sleep. In addition, complex family and personal issues such as the demands of teenage children, aging parents, midlife spouses, and career changes often converge on women during these years.
All estrogens will alleviate symptoms according to the dose used. NAMS supports the FDA and other scientific organizations that warn women about the potential harm from custom-compounded bioidentical hormones. These products have not been studied in a large group of women where benefits and side effects can be measured and reported to the public. Variation in strength from batch to batch has occurred. There is no evidence that bioidentical products are safer or more effective than FDA-approved products. All estrogens (except for conjugated estrogens which come from pregnant mares' urine) are made in a laboratory, even compounded estrogens. There are many tested and FDA-approved hormones that are bioidentical (meaning estrogens identical to those made by the ovaries). For more information, go to the NAMS Web site.View Thread