8 Menopause Reads: November 2023

Last updated 12.21.2023 | by Sabrina Johnson | 5 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Beyond Caffeine Fixes: The Steep Cost of Bad Sleep on Heart Health in Menopause.

A new study at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions unfolds a narrative—poor sleep quality heightens the risk of heart disease and stroke in women who are experiencing or have experienced menopause. Led by Dr. Brooke Aggarwal, the investigation reveals that elements like troubled sleep, insomnia, and embracing the night owl lifestyle are linked to elevated cardiovascular health risks. These findings underscore the imperative for women experiencing menopause to confront sleep issues head-on, a pivotal step in mitigating long-term cardiovascular risks(1).

Firm Handshakes & Menopause: An Unexpected Cue for Estrogen’s Relationship with Skeletal Muscles

Unveiling insights into postmenopausal health, a recent study in Menopause sheds light on the intriguing connection between a woman’s reproductive period and handgrip strength. For postmenopausal Korean women, a lengthier reproductive span and later age at menopause are linked to a reduced risk of low handgrip strength, hinting at potential benefits of estrogen on skeletal muscle. The study, encompassing over 2,300 women aged 45 to 75, emphasizes the need for further longitudinal research across diverse populations to confirm these findings and unravel the intricate ties between reproductive life span and muscle health in the postmenopausal phase(2).

Menopausal Weight Gain and Ozempic: Navigating Complex Decisioning

The article shares personal stories of women navigating menopause and the challenges of weight gain. Kymberly Smith, grieving her husband’s sudden death amid the Covid lockdowns, found solace in antidepressants and hormone therapy for hot flashes but struggled with a 20-pound weight gain. She later turned to Wegovy and successfully lost about 35 pounds. Another woman, Karen Smith, a nurse, battled weight gain during menopause with various lifestyle changes but ultimately found success with semaglutide, losing 30 pounds. Despite the potential risks and costs, these women reflect the human side of the complex decisions women face in addressing weight concerns during menopause(3).

Nutraceuticals Making Waves

Pharmavite, renowned for Nature Made vitamins, has acquired Bonafide Health, a women’s health company specializing in menopause management, augmenting its women’s health portfolio. This strategic step firmly establishes Pharmavite as a go-to for menopausal support, complementing their existing lineup with brands like Equelle and Uqora. Bonafide Health’s commitment to crafting solutions for menopausal challenges, from hot flashes to vaginal dryness, resonates with Pharmavite’s dedication to science-backed innovations tailored for women in this transformative life stage(4).

Tech Titan Prioritizes Menopause Wellbeing

Microsoft has jumped on the bandwagon of employers acknowledging the impact of menopause on their workforce, joining the ranks of those offering menopause benefits. Teaming up with Maven Clinic, Microsoft introduced comprehensive menopause support for its employees in July. This initiative encompasses hormone therapy, physical therapy addressing pelvic-floor issues, access to menopause care specialists, and dedicated paid leave for menopause-related needs. The company’s move aligns with a broader trend of employers recognizing the importance of providing support for employees navigating menopause, aiming to reap benefits such as reduced absences, heightened productivity, increased engagement, and improved talent retention and attraction(5).

Even Chimps Go Through Menopause

Unveiling a surprising parallel, a recent study in Science suggests that female chimpanzees, particularly those in Uganda’s Ngogo community, might experience menopause after hitting the age of 50. This discovery, once thought exclusive to humans and select whale species, challenges our preconceived notions about menopause in the animal kingdom. Beyond its scientific implications, understanding menopause in our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, unravels layers of shared evolutionary history and sheds light on the intricacies of primate biology(6).

Pros & Cons of Celebrities & Menopause

Celebrities like Michelle Obama, Drew Barrymore, and Oprah Winfrey are bringing menopause into the spotlight, sharing personal experiences to destigmatize the often-overlooked transition. While these conversations are positive, medical experts caution women to seek advice from qualified professionals, highlighting that some celebrities may have financial interests in endorsed products or services. The growing openness about menopause is seen as a positive trend, helping inform women about symptoms and challenging stereotypes, though careful consideration of medical advice is crucial in navigating this complex life stage (7).

The article dives into the increasing recognition of menopause within pop culture, with influential figures such as Michelle Obama, Drew Barrymore, and Oprah Winfrey openly sharing their personal journeys. This openness is celebrated as a positive shift, working to dismantle the stigma tied to menopause and equipping women with more knowledge about available treatments and choices. However, the piece also stresses the importance of seeking medical advice from trusted healthcare professionals, urging caution due to potential financial interests when celebrities endorse specific menopause-related products or services.

Capitalism’s Plan For Menopause

In Helen Lewis’s op-ed, she delves into the evolving conversation around menopause. She appreciates the positive shift in discussing this often-taboo subject. However, Lewis raises a red flag about the commercialization of menopause, cautioning against profit-driven motives and emphasizing the importance of authentic, independent discussions. She urges women to resist external influences, stressing the need for genuine conversations that truly capture the diverse experiences of menopause(8).

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.