Originally posted to Wellness.com October 31, 2007 by Beth Rosenshein, Founder, DRF
I have a different view of menopause than most. I see it not as a transition to be embraced but as a medical problem that causes a lot of ill health, and I see medical treatment as the solution to that problem. I am not talking about the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that was given to women in the Women’s Health Initiative, because, from a scientific standpoint it wasn’t HRT. Premarin is neither hormone replacement nor hormone therapy and calling it HRT is simply misleading.
Unfortunately, the failure of the Women’s Health Initiative has meant that millions of women worldwide are not given the appropriate treatment that would significantly improve their health and well being.
Menopause is a medical problem because it is caused by organ failure. Menopause occurs when the ovaries fail and are no longer producing ovarian hormones. Without ovarian hormones the entire body begins to suffer because ovarian hormones help the entire body stay healthy.
Menopause is a medical problem and has a medical name, hypogonadism. The reason it is called hypogonadism (hypo – meaning less than and gonadism – meaning related to the gonads), is because the ovaries are gonads which produce sex hormones. Generally we think of men having gonads, but women have them too and in women they are the ovaries. Hypogonadism means that a person, woman or man, has lower than normal levels of sex hormones. From that you can see that hypogonadism is not unique to women. In fact, men with hypogonadism have all the same symptoms as women, hot flashes, loss of sexual function, sleep disruption, etc.
Here is something to ponder. Menopause is often described as normal and women are told that treatment is not necessary, yet there is no medical authority that will say that hypogonadism should go untreated. If menopause and hypogonadism are the same thing, how can one be normal and not need treatment and the other not normal and require treatment?