WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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"it affects everything" fitness & health And if women aren't sleeping in the bedroom, are they filling all that awake time with great sex? Not usually. Frequently, changes in libido and sexual function for menopausal women are another profound challenge that flies under the radar. "It's awful, it stinks, I just hate it," says a Weston jewelry maker who succinctly sums up her reaction to her changing body. Vaginal dryness, decrease in libido, and problems with arousal all conspire to make what should be a spontaneous, loving part of a healthy relationship riddled with complications. "Women may be reluctant to bring it up," says Heidi Angle, "or at least think there is nothing to be done about it, but usually there are things that can make life more manageable." Lubricants, moisturizers, vaginal rings, and pills can help with the worst symptoms, and a patient partner helps too. "Sometimes these women just need to give themselves permission to get treated," says Sharon Margulies. But getting treated has gotten a little more complicated these days. It used to be that a huge majority of women took HRTs to tackle the symptoms of menopause. It was touted as a cure-all for everything from hot flashes to osteoporosis to heart disease. Supported by multimillion-dollar ad campaigns, at one point, HRTs were the most prescribed drug in the country. Then, in 2002, the Women's Health Initiative published the first comprehensive, wide-ranging study of women on HRTs. The findings linked HRTs to an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. Since then, further studies have somewhat seesawed back to the efficacy and relative safety of HRTs. Consequently, it is an issue that is best left between a patient and her doctor. But according to both Sharon Margulies and Heidi Angle, there can be a place for a well-monitored role for HRT for some women who are suffering needlessly. "I just couldn't stand the hot flashes anymore," says a social worker from Wellesley. "It became a provided substantial relief. "The pendulum is coming back for shortterm use for extremely symptomatic patients," says Dr. Margulies. "We used to give much higher doses; now we give them the smallest amounts possible." 133 s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e quality of life issue." For her, a half of an estrogen patch on her hip has

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