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Until confronted with menopause I never really gave it much thought. I
accepted that I would one day go thorough “the change” just like every other
woman. The only thing I knew of menopause was that a woman had hot flashes for a
short time and then her life went back to normal, except that she would no
longer be able to have a baby. I really thought life would be the same after
menopause as it was before. I was in for a rude awakening.
At age 43 I began experiencing changes I was completely unprepared for. My
sexual response was completely gone, and after several months I realized that it
wasn’t coming back. I needed to find out how this happened, if this was normal,
and how to adapt to this change. I was baffled. At the time I had no idea that
how I was feeling was caused by menopause, which I later learned was complete
ovarian failure. I also discovered that it might be possible to prevent or delay
this failure. I had no idea that menopause might be optional.
But as I pored over thousands of medical studies and discovered that it might
be possible to make menopause optional, I knew I had to write a book.
Originally, I planned on writing solely about the use of bio-identical hormones
taken to recreate pre-menopausal hormone levels—as opposed to the non-identical
hormones such as Premarin™ and Provera™ used in the most commonly prescribed
form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in an attempt to restore
pre-menopausal sexual response. But as I learned more and more about ovarian
function, I discovered that as we age we lose our eggs at a faster and faster
rate, thus hastening the onset of ovarian failure, and that it may be possible
to significantly delay this failure by better managing the eggs with which we
are born. Contrary to what nearly every woman—and her doctor—believes, I became
convinced that ovarian failure is not inevitable.
I then had to ask: While it may be possible to prevent menopause, is it wise?
Are their risks involved? Would there be sufficient health benefits to extend
the function of the ovaries until old age? Would birth control be necessary for
older women? Is pregnancy a risk for a woman in her 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s? I had
to prove to myself that extending the life of the ovaries would not harm a
woman’s health. I did. Through research, I confirmed that restoring a woman’s
ovarian function through the use of small doses of key hormones (in
bio-identical form) can dramatically lower her risk of breast cancer as well as
heart disease. I saw that it was possible that the risk of birth defects in
babies of older women would likely decrease as well. I found that ovaries
contribute a great deal to a woman’s overall sense of well-being, and contribute
to the functioning of every other organ in her body. Unlike the loss of an
appendix, the ovaries’ absence is felt. Ovaries are not just reproductive
organs. They are vital organs, which influence the well-being of every other
organ in a woman’s body, and thus are important to her overall health. You
deserve to know this.
I hope this book will help you see that menopause can be prevented only if
you and your doctor (see chapter 2) work towards this goal together. Your doctor
will need to know how to help you regulate ovarian function, as well as which
medications could derail your efforts.
Very low doses of hormones are needed to regulate ovarian function. I know
that hormones have gotten a bad reputation in the last few years, especially due
to the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). As I explain in chapter
6, the hormone replacement therapy used in the WHI study did not recreate the
hormones made by the ovaries, nor is standard HRT based on ovarian function.
These misperceptions are widely shared. The hormones given to the women in the
study, standard HRT for over half a century, created a hormonal environment that
a woman would not normally experience in her lifetime, either before or after
ovarian failure. Understanding the goal of the Women’s Health Initiative, as
well as how and why particular hormones were chosen, will help you understand
the failure of this clinical trial.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of “tinkering” with their hormones.
The fact is, this is not really “tinkering” but replacing what the ovaries once
produced themselves. The small doses involved are perfectly safe, and are really
no different from the treatments doctors use every day to treat any other
declining organ in the body in order to help it work at its optimal level. As I
will show, there is nothing here to fear.
I am an electrical/bio-medical engineer and am very familiar with medical
research. I hold two United States patents, one for a unique design of a vaginal
speculum, and one for a clever urinary collection device specifically designed
for women. I discovered and documented an important drug interaction between
esomeprazole (Nexium™) and testosterone. My findings were published in a case
study in The American Journal of the Medical Sciences in May 2004. I petitioned
the FDA in August 2003 to change the labeling on hormone products. The petition
was granted in September 2004. I am also wife and mother. I wrote this book as
much for my children as for myself. I want them to have a better future.
Together we can make the future better for our children and ourselves.
The more we know about our bodies, the better equipped we are to help them