I was catching up on Boardwalk Empire this week (I love my Jersey mafia shows,) and one of the things that struck me (beyond all the gangster carnage) was the very limited information made available to women about their own bodies in the 1920’s.
In a tertiary plot line Margaret organizes a class at a Catholic hospital to teach prenatal care to women, something unheard of at the time. The class was given by a doctor and was censored: he could not say “pregnant” or even “vagina.” Women had no real say in whether or not they became pregnant and diaphragms had to be obtained secretly through a doctor.
At first it was jarring and I happily reflected how far we have come, but the more I though about it the more I realized we still have a lot of learning to do. And I’m not even referring to recent political dramas surrounding Planned Parenthood, “legitimate rape,” and access to birth control. I’m talking about basic information about menopause.
Turn on any football game and you will see ads for men sitting in bathtubs watching the sunset while discussing their erectile dysfunction, but God forbid someone mention a hot flash in mixed company! Why is this subject so taboo? Every woman is going to get older and every woman is going to go through it, so today I spoke with Dr. Lauren Streicher, Assistant Clinical Professor of OBGYN at Northwestern University‘s medial school, The Feinberg School of Medicine to find out the facts.
We discuss the symptoms for menopause and post-menopause, current treatments available and some questions to ask your doctor. (See video clip)
Hope you found this helpful!
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