The past few weeks have been pretty turbulent for women. The NFL made a huge fumble and that mistake has opened doors to much needed conversations. Saturday, September 13th women from around the country participated in a rally in our national capital in solidarity to continue our forward movement of equal rights for women. Last week, the equal pay act was again blocked in Washington DC. I continue to see a common thread – to hold women back from our human rights as people. I have been writing for a few months as I interview women about changes in their bodies that are natural with regard to menopause. Women seemingly have little to no say in the selecting innovative treatments with regard to sexual health. I continue to be disturbed. The trend of discounting women is across the board in many areas.
Last week I was out to dinner and bumped into several women that I have not seen for years. We were the gym girls of the 1980’s and 1990’s with our leg warmers and leotards as cutting-age aerobics instructors for a cookie-cutter club. Now we are between the ages of 44 to 56, seemly healthy and happy on the outside, but feeling some misery on the inside.
The topic of hot flashes came up in conversation. A few of the women are on social media and have seen my very candid posts about equal rights, women’s issues, empowering women to use our voices as a platform for change, and my articles. One woman, age 48, started telling us about her “burning bed.”. I thought she was talking about the 1984 movie with Farah Fawcett! She was going on and one about how she would lay in the bed and immediately would be on fire. Her bed was engulfing her in flames. This is her actual life, night after night trying to sleep in her own bed. Her mind is spiraling out of control and her body is unable to rest and be calm enough to sleep. Her graphic description made me feel like I was on fire! She is convinced there are no answers and she has tried everything.
Of course I asked if she knew about The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) in Lutherville, Maryland. She quickly answered, “No.” She has tried everything, she is lacking trust in the medical establishment, and stated that women are just supposed to be miserable during this time of life. Of course that lead me into an entirely different conversation about how the FDA continues to allow a study – then once the statistics are in and they are showing favorable results, the committee denies approval. Even with positive favorable results, a loop hole is found. To date, there are twenty-six FDA approved medications for various sexual dysfunction with men and ZERO for women.
Is this a conspiracy? It seems to me, the status quo for moving forward to address various innovative approaches for women’s health has been an uphill battle. Social media and more women who are demanding change with relevant conversations and collective voices have certainly changed the playing field. With committed doctors who continuously look outside the box for cutting-edge approaches for women and organizations like Even the Score, demonstrates to me that change will happen and we are closer than ever before.
The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) is participating in a phase three trial. Currently, recruiting women, between the ages of 40 and 65, who are experiencing discomfort from the first signs of sweating to persistent sweating and/or months or years of experiencing hot flashes. Substantial financial compensation is awarded for participation. The rewards just might outweigh the financial return! To learn more and stay up to date on topics, trends and additional studies Click Here.
Andrew M. London, M.D., a leading gynecologist, partnered with Leonard R. Derogatis, Ph.D. and created. Dr. Derogatis has been an attending psychologist with the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit for over 35 years and was its director for a number of years. Dr. London, The Associate Director of the MCSH, also trained at Johns Hopkins and was Chief Resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hopkins. Both clinicians have extensive experience and interest in understanding and treating sexual problems.
Research and technology have yielded many new advances in the treatment for hot flashes. I found a pharmaceutical company who announced in September, 2013 a pivotal phase three trial of a bio-identical natural progesterone treatment. I have educated myself on the pros and cons of Bioidentical Progesterone vs. Non Bioidentical Progestin. Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (“HT”) are reporting less signs of the risks associated with breast cancer, more favorable on lipid profiles (cholesterol), improved carbohydrate metabolism (glucose/insulin) and improved sleep efficiency and mood. I say NO more burning bed!
MCSH conducts an extensive range of therapeutic clinical drug trials, evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of new drugs for the treatment of numerous sexual problems with women in various stages of menopause in Baltimore.
As far as I can remember….back to the 1960’s, I learned the rules and then I broke them! I never seemed to settle for the status quo and I have always asked a lot of questions. I certainly never settled when it came to my body, my health or my children’s well-being….why would I stop now??? As far as my friend with the burning bed – she is now in the study. So my point is, sharing our stories, our truths, and opening up to new possibilities matters! Let’s continue to be curious, ask questions, expect options and not settle for a sleepless night because our bodies deserve more.