Mary Jane Minkin, MD, and Carol V. Wright, PhD
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; 2005
This is a very detailed book written in an easy-to-read manner. The information is presented as questions and answers, and the use of charts and graphs helps the reader understand complicated explanations.
The book begins with a full description of the Women’s Health Initiative study and explains the history of hormone therapy. The second chapter explores the physiology of menopause -- how and why it happens. A very good review of all the signs and symptoms of menopause and perimenopause follow in the next five chapters. Hot flashes, abnormal vaginal bleeding, premenstrual symptoms, and the impact of menopause on the body and brain are thoroughly covered.
The authors discuss the medical and the alternate therapies for the main menopause-related symptoms, then give a comprehensive review of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, including practical tips. The next chapters answer questions about osteoporosis, heart health, sexuality, urinary incontinence, and cancer of the reproductive organs.
Discussion of the doctor-patient relationship covers patient rights and responsibilities and how to choose a doctor. The last chapter highlights the importance of lifestyle and gives tips about diet and exercise. The book ends with a helpful glossary and a very good list of resources.
I would recommend this book to those who want practical and detailed information about menopause and perimenopause. Readers may choose to refer to this book to answer specific questions when needed, or read it cover to cover.
Sophie Desindes, MD
Residency Program Director
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, QC, Canada