New book aims to guide women through menopause

As preteens, girls often take health classes to teach them about their changing bodies during puberty. For moms-to-be, classes deal with pregnancy and newborn care.

Yet, no classes are offered about menopause, a part of life that 6,000 U.S. women reach every day. A new book released today aims to address that gap. Mayo Clinic The Menopause Solution is subtitled A Doctor's Guide to Relieving Hot Flashes, Enjoying Better Sex, Sleeping Well, Controlling Your Weight and Being Happy!

"This book serves to inform women about what's happening to their bodies, what treatment options are available and how to remain healthy in the years past menopause," says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical editor of The Menopause Solution and director of the Women's Health Clinic and Office of Women's Health at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Faubion, a North American Menopause Society-certified menopause practitioner, is one of the nation's leading experts on menopause and regularly treats women with menopause-related conditions.

Menopause, which occurs 12 months after a woman's last menstrual period, marks the end of menstrual cycles. Menopause can happen in a woman's 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the U.S., Dr. Faubion says. With increasing life expectancy, many women will spend up to 40 percent of their lives in the postmenopausal stage.

Mayo Clinic The Menopause Solution provides the latest clinically proven information and a reference tool for women seeking answers to questions about what is happening before, during and after menopause:

Most women think menopause is a short-term condition, but symptoms can last for a decade or more. Although that may seem discouraging, Dr. Faubion outlines tips on how to eliminate or relieve symptoms. "There is no one-size-fits-all approach," she says.

Hot flashes
Common triggers for hot flashes include warm beverages and spicy foods. Dr. Faubion encourages women to discover what their own triggers are so they can avoid or modify them.

Unfortunately, just because the menstrual cycle is over doesn't mean mood changes are eliminated. Dr. Faubion addresses mood issues from depression to stress.

Yes, there may be changes to sex drive, but don't think sex is over when menopause hits. Dr. Faubion outlines techniques to help women get their sexy back.

Optimizing bedtime habits, eating a good diet, limiting daytime naps and exercising can help women get a good night's rest, Dr. Faubion says.

Weight gain
Weight gain happens to many women as they age. Dr. Faubion clearly explains how and why this is happening, and offers strategies for controlling it.

Dr. Faubion reminds women they need to take care of themselves now more than ever. She guides women through managing symptoms, such as hair loss, unwanted hair, dry eyes and skin changes, and she suggests ways women can pamper themselves.

"Understanding what is happening to your body and what you can do about it is key," Dr. Faubion says. "I often tell my patients, 'The rules of your body have changed, and no one told you.' That's why this book was written: to tell you what's happening to you and what you can do about it."


Mayo Clinic


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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