Women suffering from the side effects of menopause are not seeking treatment.
Many women are affected by hot flushes during the years before and after menopause. Also known as vasomotor symptoms (VMS) they are a result of loss of ovarian hormones. Symptoms are longer lasting and more severe for women who have undergone hysterectomy, and can occur almost immediately following surgery. The effects of VMS are not confined to feeling hot; more than 70 per cent of all menopausal women and 90 per cent of those who have undergone hysterectomy also experience disturbed sleep, fatigue, impaired short-term memory, along with anxiety and depression.
Up until recently the effects of VMS were treated with hormone therapy, but with many unsubstantiated claims in recent times that it leads to an increased risk of cancer, there has been a decline in its use. According to a study by a Yale School of Medicine researcher and colleagues published in the online journal Menopause, the team found that a high percentage of VMS were not treated in most women. This in turn has seen a frequent but avoidable consequence: women suffering from these side effects of menopause not seeking treatment and dropping out of the workforce while many of them are still at the height of their careers.
While it is concerning that there are significant costs involved with work lost, there are alternative treatments available to women suffering the effects of VMS, but due to their reticence in mentioning their issues they continue to suffer in silence. Philip Sarrel, M.D., Emeritus Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Sciences, and Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine says, "Women are not mentioning it to their healthcare providers, and providers aren't bringing it up. The symptoms can be easily treated in a variety of ways, with low-dose hormone patches, non-hormonal medications, and simple environmental adjustments such as cooling the workplace."
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