For nearly as long as women have been around, they have been going through menopause. It is a bodily process as old as human birth, death, and of course, menstruation. Like many normal biological events, menopause was gradually medicalized, and with the rise of pharmaceutical medicine, women and their doctors were convinced that it was an "estrogen deficiency disease" that could be treated by supplementing the body's declining estrogen levels with hormones. By 2002 hormone treatment had been on the market for more than fifty years when doctors and women alike were shocked by the results of a massive clinical trial, the Women's Health Initiative: women taking hormones had more heart attacks, breast cancer, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, and blood clots than women who did not, and patients were left scrambling to find new and sometimes difficult answers to their menopause and midlife health questions.
In The No-Nonsense Guide to Menopause, Barbara Seaman, a legendary figure in the women's health movement, and Laura Eldridge have written a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource that will give you all the information you need to make smart and informed decisions that will put you in control during this time of transition -- medically, psychologically, sexually, and even financially.
With the latest research on everything from hormone replacement therapy to skin creams to preventing osteoporosis, The No-Nonsense Guide to Menopause is the definitive manual on this important subject. You'll find out which changes are expected and natural and which can be a cause for concern; how hormonal shifts can affect your heart, your sex life, and your mood; and what you can do to address these issues. Whether the authors are discussing the risk factors for heart disease, the benefits of lifting weights, or if you should consider a hysterectomy, they offer unbiased, straightforward information and advice with a signature blend of wisdom and sensitivity.
Perhaps most important, you'll learn how to evaluate what you read in magazines, hear on the news, and are told by your doctor, so you can distinguish between solid facts and dubious claims. By learning how to read and evaluate scientific studies and becoming familiar with what goes on behind the scenes in research labs, at doctors' offices, and at pharmaceutical companies, you will be able to become your own advocate. The next time you go to the doctor's office, you will know how to make the most of your visit and leave feeling confident, informed, and in command. There is no one way to experience menopause and no single way to handle the challenges it can present, but as a no-nonsense patient, you will have the tools you need to make decisions that are right for you.
Barbara Seaman was a leader in the women's health movement. An alumna of Oberlin College, she was a Sloan/Rockefeller Advanced Science Writing Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School. She was a cofounder of the National Women's Health Network and a contributing editor to Ms. Magazine. Her previous books include The Doctor's Case Against the Pill, Free and Female, Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones, Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann, The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth, and For Women Only! Your Guide to Health Empowerment.
Laura Eldridge is Barbara Seaman's longtime associate. Eldridge grew up in New York and Salt Lake City and attended Barnard College.
"Seaman touches on nearly every aspect of women's health...as she helps readers frame key questions, evaluate research studies, consider treatment options and move gracefully through menopause and the years leading up to and following it. This volume sheds an invaluable light on a long-cloudy subject." -- Publishers Weekly