Information on Menopause

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 05:20am

Dr. Maria Oquendo

"Unless there's a history or very high ris­k of breast cancer, heart attack or stroke, there's no reason for a woman to suffer needlessly through a difficult menopause. The key to hormone therapy is balance: using the lowest effective dose for the shortest necessary time."­­
-Interview with Dr. Isaac Schiff, Joe Vincent Meigs Professor of Gynecology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

"Strong evidence suggests that declining estrogen levels (during menopause) appear to be associated with...a gradual weight increase."

-A Personal Perspective from Dr.Wulf Utian, Founder and Executive Director of the North American Menopause Society and Consultant Gynecologist, The Cleveland Clinic.

"There's not one medication or one practice that suits all. Women are not all albino rats from the same litter reacting predictably to the same medications."

-Interview with Dr. Bernadine Healy, Physician, Cardiologist, Professor, former Director of the National Institutes of Health and former President of the American Red Cross.

"I think we're in the beginning of what I call Westernized Talibanism of women. There is an invasion of women's sacred property--their estrogen. Our society wants to take estrogen away from women and make them foggy, depressed and unproductive."

-Interview with Dr. Uzzi Reiss, Beverly Hills gynecologist, obstetrician and specialist in Anti-Aging Medicine.

Well, to begin with, there are 111 million adult women in the United States, almost all of whom watch the CBS Television Network in a typical week and all of whom will or have experienced the inevitable transition of menopause.

In addition, the landmark Women's Health Initiative Study concluded that there was an increased risk of breast cancer and stroke in women taking a combination of synthetic estrogen and synthetic progesterone (progestin). This triggered considerable confusion and fear among many women about the overall risks of hormone therapy.

So, we thought that, by embracing this cause and interviewing top experts, we could help clarify some of the confusing and frightening information...hopefully impacting the lives of many CBS viewers in a positive way. We couldn't think of a better reason for a Television Network to take on a cause.

CBS Cares conducted considerable research to identify a gynecologist in the U.S. who brought the utmost credibility and expertise to the issues. The name of Dr. Isaac Schiff, Joe Vincent Meigs Professor of Gynecology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital, came up repeatedly. We were therefore thrilled when he agreed to be extensively interviewed for this website.

We also approached Dr. Bernadine Healy, a distinguished cardiologist and women's health expert who, as former head of the National Institutes of Health, initiated the landmark Women's Health Initiative Study, which triggered much of the recent concern about hormone therapy. Her perspectives on the study she launched and various other issues related to menopause and hormone therapy are very important.

In wanting to provide a complete and balanced discussion of the issues, we also interviewed Dr. Uzzi Reiss, a prominent Beverly Hills Gynecologist, who prescribes bio-identical/natural hormones. Dr. Reiss has very strong and passionate convictions on bio identical hormone therapy and related women's health issues.

So, we invite you to read the transcripts and sit in on our interviews with these leading experts. We hope that you'll find them informative and that they will facilitate the dialogue between you and your health care provider on important issues directly impacting your health.