Kerrie's Reviews > Could It Be...Perimenopause?: How Women 35-50 Can Overcome Forgetfulness, Mood Swings, Insomnia, Weight Gain, Sexual Dysfunction and Other Telltale Signs of Hormonal Imbalance

Could It Be...Perimenopause? by Steven R. Goldstein
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from July 13 to 15, 2012

Well I'm glad to see that I'm not the only woman in her late thirties who was starting to wonder if the constant memory loss was Alzheimers. The other day I totally blanked on a password I enter multiple times a day.

Hormones are powerful little fuckers, and at this stage of life when they decide to pile onto the biological roller coaster and have their little joyride that lasts years, well... you're kind of a hostage to the whole ordeal. It sucks.

Goldstein has written a wonderful layman-level comprehensive book that most importantly explains the process of menstruation in terms of the roles that the hormones play and covers a lot of the questions that women ask (or should be asking) their doctors. He does state definite opinions against certain procedures, such as the invasive surgical D&C for diagnostic purposes, and advocates transvaginal ultrasounds instead. This was written in the late 1990s, so I'm not sure if the ultrasound has assumed the role that he imagined it would take during a woman's perimenopausal annual exam. (In recent times it seems that probe has been given the role of slut-shamer in a Republican legislator's wet dream.)

I really appreciated the time he took to go through the herbal supplements and remedies that are gathered under the catch-all of "women's health" - and with a healthy dose of skepticism states that "Natural doesn't always mean safe." Some of these herbals have lots of estrogen, and although menopausal women need that kind of thing, more estrogen is the last thing a perimenopausal woman needs. Throughout the book he advocates education and knowledge - to go in to the doctor's office armed with information. Don't just tell your doctor, "My periods have been kind of irregular" - bring the damn calendar with dates, flow strengths, when symptoms show up, etc. The doctor won't be shooting in the dark, and you'll get better treatment or more appropriate diagnosis.

He is a big proponent of low-dose birth control pills, and addresses the fact that some of the "health risks" that people still ascribe to them are outdated and apply to the very high estrogen pills of the 1960s and 1970s. He makes a very good point that today's women are enduring hundreds more menstrual cycles than our female ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago who frequently were either pregnant or nursing, and therefore not menstruating. Therefore these women did not have the effects of the monthly rupturing and repair of follicles, and the fluctuating estrogen levels that modern women have.

This book is really packed full of information, and you can just read the chapters that pertain to you, or read it cover to cover like I did (OK, I skipped the sections on perimenopausal fertility because kids...I'm never going there). So I highly recommend it to any woman who's hitting "that age" when she feels "off" 3 weeks out of 4 due to bloating, gas, constipation, etc. that aren't related to any medical/drug issue, thinks she's going crazy, and needs some reassurance that there are ways to deal with it and make this transition somewhat more bearable. And then we get to look forward to hot flashes! Yay!
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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* LOL...just wait.. hot flashes..and then some,the fun is just starting.

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