This Is Not Your Mother's Menopause

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Event Date: 07/12/2000.

Trisha Posner discusses her views on a new perspective on menopause.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the guest's alone. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live's Mind and Body Auditorium. Today we are discussing This Is Not Your Mother's Menopause by Trisha Posner.

A few years ago, at forty-six, Trisha Posner left her annual physical feeling wonderful -- until her doctor called to report surprising news: Although Posner had not recognized her own symptoms, her blood tests indicated she was in full-blown menopause. When her gynecologist urged hormone replacement therapy, Posner balked, fearing it might increase her risk of developing breast cancer, which had already struck her mother and two aunts. Posner will discuss her quest for an alternative to a woman's usual choices: take hormones (as most doctors advise), or do nothing and risk the deterioration of her heart, bones, and mind. She will reveal how she developed a personal program to counter naturally the annoying symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and headaches, as well as the more serious problems, like depression and loss of sexual desire.

Trisha, welcome to WebMD Live. What made you write this book?

Posner: I was thrown into finding out that I was in menopause by my doctor, and was dumbfounded because I was young and was still getting my period. I was perplexed and started to do research on where I was going and what I was going to do. My gynecologist was insistent at that time with hormone replacement. I was leery since there was breast cancer in the family. So, I decided to do the research and found there was little for me when I watched all the programs other than the hormone replacement. So, therefore, I went on this thing on my own to find out why I was so frightened of hormone replacement. Once I found everything out I needed to know, I felt it was necessary to put it down for other people because there didn't seem to be other choices around for people. How could I take everything that hormone replacement said it could do and duplicate that into a program for my heart, bones, desire, dreadful weight gain, dry skin and thinning hair? That's how it came about.

Moderator: Why another book about menopause and why is this one different?

Posner: I think it's very different because it's written as a personal journal. It's my journal and it takes you through my finding out about menopause and through the history of my family. I think many women can relate to the honesty in it, like the lack of sexual desire and depression. What I'm telling you in my book is that it's an empowering experience and a new beginning. It's a natural process and nothing that's abnormal. And it gives you an uplifting approach and I think a lot of women can say, "Yes, that's what I was feeling." I also think there's parts in the book that are excellent for women who are perimenopause, menopausal, postmenopausal. It's just a different approach. I think it's also an excellent book for male members of the family to read, for the husband, brother or boyfriend to see what we actually go through. My menopause was relatively not too bad at all compared with other women. There are a lot of women who've gone through this and their period just stopped with no symptoms and there are others with horrendous symptoms.

Moderator: Where you ready for menopause when your doctor told you that you were in it? Was there any denial involved of possible symptoms?

Posner: I think there was an unconscious denial, not because of the age thing, because I've never really been concerned about the age, but I think it was more, "Me? I couldn't possibly be in menopause. I don't have any symptoms." It was like a jigsaw puzzle and it was pointed out to me the slight mood swings, the bloating and the one big zinger, the hot flashes. And that was a hard one to deny. Every time I would ask Gerald if it was hot in the room I'd pray he'd say, "Yes, it is." But the time I stuck my head in the fridge was when you have to really look at it. It's like a relief you can't explain when your head's in the fridge. Once I knew this was going on, I had an interesting approach. Because I had done so much research I decided it was time to go to war and let's see what we could do.

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