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Introduction

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 stay healthy.



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