The Perimenopause and Menopause Revolution: Why Women Deserve Better

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Medically Reviewed
April 16, 2024

As a functional medicine physician with over 25 years of experience specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), I’ve witnessed a dramatic shift in how women navigate their health. Yet, there remains a glaring gap in conventional medicine when it comes to perimenopause and menopause care. 

For many women, these powerful life stages are shrouded in secrecy and misinformation. 

Hot flashes and night sweats are often the only topics discussed, leaving the emotional rollercoaster, brain fog, weight gain, and sleep disturbances largely unaddressed. This lack of comprehensive care can leave women feeling lost, frustrated, and even ashamed of a perfectly natural transition. 

The Information Blackout: Why Conventional Medicine Falls Short 

Conventional medicine tends to view perimenopause and menopause as a one-size-fits-all biological event. The focus is often on symptom suppression through medications like birth control pills or low-dose antidepressants.  

While these can be helpful in some cases, they often fail to address the underlying hormonal imbalances contributing to a cascade of symptoms. 

This approach neglects the complexity of these transitions. Perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, is a period of fluctuating hormone levels. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all continue to decline, impacting everything from metabolism, mood, and libido to brain health.  

Conventional medicine, being symptom-focused, fails to acknowledge these dynamic hormonal changes. This symptom-driven approach leaves women confused without a clear roadmap to navigate these changes. And with this process averaging over a decade for most of us, that is a lot of time spent feeling not your best.  

We deserve better.  

The Power of Integrative Medicine: Filling the Gap with a Root Cause Approach 

Integrative medicine offers a different perspective. We view perimenopause and menopause as opportunities for holistic wellness, a chance to optimize health and well-being for decades. Here’s what sets us apart: 

  • Root Cause Focus: Instead of just treating symptoms, we delve deeper to understand their underlying reasons. This might involve assessing thyroid function, blood sugar levels, and nutrient deficiencies that can exacerbate hormonal imbalances. 
  • Comprehensive Care: We address the multifaceted nature of perimenopause and menopause. This includes personalized dietary and lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques, and, when appropriate, Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to address hormonal imbalances. 
  • Focus on Education: Knowledge is power. We empower women with a clear understanding of their hormonal fluctuations and how these changes contribute to their symptoms. We also provide the tools to navigate them effectively. 

BHRT: A Personalized Approach to Hormone Replacement for Perimenopause and Menopause 

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has become valuable in my integrative medicine toolbox. BHRT uses bioidentical hormones that are structurally identical to those naturally produced by the body. This allows for a more targeted and personalized approach to correcting hormonal imbalances. 

However, it’s important to understand that BHRT is not the only answer. It should be integrated into a comprehensive care plan that prioritizes overall well-being. 

Building a Community for Women in Transition During Perimenopause and Menopause 

We, as women’s healthcare providers, need to do better. Perimenopause and menopause are a normal part of life, not some medical anomaly. Open and honest conversations are key. 

Here’s how we can build a better community for women in transition: 

  • Normalize the Conversation: Let’s talk about perimenopause and menopause openly. Let’s share experiences and break down the stigma often associated with these changes. 
  • Educate and Empower Women: Provide readily accessible, evidence-based information on this crucial stage of life. Empower women to be advocates for their health. 
  • Focus on Integrative Solutions: Train more practitioners in integrative medicine and BHRT, offering women a wider range of evidence-based options for navigating these transitions. 

The Road Ahead: Embracing Change with Confidence 

Perimenopause and menopause can be a time of profound transformation. It’s a chance to shed the past, redefine wellness, and embrace the next chapter. With the right support and a focus on whole-body health, women can navigate these transitions with grace and thrive in the following decades. 

Remember, you are not alone. If you’re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, seek out a healthcare provider well-versed in integrative medicine and BHRT. You can build a personalized plan to create a vibrant and fulfilling next chapter together.

Dr. Angela DeRosa
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As our Associate Medical Director, Dr. Angela De Rosa is integral to the continued education and innovation here at Nava Health. Dr. Angela DeRosa, DO, MBA, CPE, is a dynamic professional on a mission to change the face of women’s health and wellness. As a respected, internationally recognized authority on women’s hormonal health, Dr. DeRosa understands the range of health issues women face leading up to and during menopause, as she was in full-blown menopause by age 35. Dr. DeRosa has more than 25 years of experience in the medical field, both on the pharmaceutical side and in clinical practice.

Dr. DeRosa’s enthusiasm for educating patients on the realities of menopause and the risk factors of hormonal health imbalances has never waned. It was the driving force behind her first bestselling book, A Woman’s Health Survival Guide: How to Prevent Your Doctor From Slowly Killing You. Her book and its controversial title caught the attention of the public, media, and the medical community.

Dr. DeRosa is on the advisory board for the European Menopause and Andropause Society, a member of the International Menopause Society International Society of the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, and a researcher on women’s health issues. Dr. DeRosa is a Midwestern University Clinical Assistant Professor and a Past Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association President.