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Menopause Matters: Your Guide to a Long & Healthy Life

Julia Schlam Edelman, MD, FACOG, NCMP
Baltimore, MD; The Johns Hopkins University Press: 2010
401 pages

This lay guide to menopause and general wellness is written by a board-certified gynecologist managing the transition from the earliest perimenopausal symptoms to the typical postmenopausal years. Dr. Edelman focuses on vasomotor health, gynecologic health, and sexuality but also covers a wide range of general medical topics. A decade of menopausal literature is discussed with a manageable number of references (often accessible through the Internet) and an accurate index.

Menopause Matters features lifestyle modifications and nonmedical interventions for menopausal symptoms as well as typical clinical and prescription therapies. Authoritative websites are helpful and up to date. Educational materials from two leading women’s health organizations (The North American Menopause Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) are recommended as additional reading. The latest cardiovascular (American Heart Association) and osteoporosis (National Osteoporosis Foundation) guidelines for peri- and postmenopausal women are included plus an explanation of the 10-year fracture-risk assessment tool called FRAX.

Each chapter features multiple vignettes telling the stories of women who warrant evaluation, making the medical information more personal. Because of the stories, I could see this book being popular for a book club that has both a medical and technical interest in the time around menopause. I like how the recommendations are tied to appropriate case histories yet I caution women to also get comprehensive medical advice from their own healthcare provider. I think that certain areas, such as a basic list of vaccinations appropriate for midlife women, should have been mentioned.

If you are looking for an in-depth book on menopause and beyond (topics including mood changes, sexuality and couples issues, heart health, weight management, and bone health), this is an excellent book. Dr. Edelman’s advice is well within current clinical practice for most gynecologists, so many women will find it useful.

Review written by:

Suzanne Trupin, MD, FACOG, NCMP
Owner & Chief Executive Officer
Women’s Health Practice and Hada Cosmetic Medicine
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Urbana, IL
Member, NAMS Consumer Education Committee

The comments contained here are opinions or information of the reviewers and not necessarily the opinions or information of The North American Menopause Society, its officers, agents, or Trustees. Oversight for the book reviews is given by David A. Hutchins, MD, a member of the NAMS Consumer Education Committee.
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