Menopause specialists help women deal with hormonal changes

WESTON, Fla. – More than one million women in the United States experience menopause each year.

While for some the symptoms can be so mild, they’re almost imperceptible, 80 percent of women suffer daily with the side effects of their changing hormone levels.

Now there’s a new group of gynecological specialists who are focusing on menopause and helping women with some ‘tried and true’ options and now even new ways to manage this difficult time of life.

While yoga is supposed to be soothing and calming the practice couldn’t prevent the symptoms of menopause that were a part of Amy Stahle’s life for so many years.

“Sheets were wet from sweat. I wasn’t sleeping well so that disrupted the next day,” Stahle said.

Ultimately, she turned to menopause specialist Dr. Claudia Mason who works with a variety of options to help women through the sometimes-debilitating symptoms that come with the so-called ‘change of life’.

“This is a time in a woman’s life where she has reduced ovarian function the eggs are becoming deplete and that’s where all of the reproductive hormones have made,” Mason said.

Being a gynecologist with a specialty in menopause helps Mason find help for her patients she said is increasing.

“Many women are entering menopause every day menopause occurs naturally between age 45 and 55 and we know that demographic especially the baby boomers are now aging out of that, but millennials are entering this age group,” Mason said.

Fortunately, there are treatments that can help, including prescription medications and hormone replacement therapy which is considered safe in certain patients.

There’s also a new drug called Veozah that was approved by the F.D.A. in May 2023 for hot flashes.

“And so that medicine is not hormonal. It works extremely well, it’s very targeted and works extremely well for the hot flash,” Mason said.

With Mason’s help, Stahle is finally feeling relief from the hot flashes and insomnia.

“A big difference in my life. I’m glad I met Dr. Mason,” Stahle said.

And what about those herbal supplements, including St. John’s Wort, Black Kohosh, Evening Primrose, Dong Quai, Wild Yam and Ashwagandha promising relief from menopause?

Research has shown they’re no more effective than placebo and because they’re not regulated, they could also pose health risks.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.