February 28, 2005 |
Colleen Dawmen had been plagued for years by severe hot flashes that would wash over her dozens of times a day and awaken her, dripping with sweat, three or four times a night. "I'd get so overwhelmed by this furnace-like heat that I felt like my head was going to explode," says the 51-year-old nurse. She didn't want to take hormones, but black cohosh and progesterone cream had failed to curb her symptoms. "I was at the mercy of these hot flashes," she says.
July 5, 2004 |
Sharon Pruhs was only 42 years old when she began experiencing menopausal symptoms. "I remember exactly where I was when I experienced my first hot flash," she recalls. "I was standing at the card catalog at the library." The Los Angeles librarian figured, "Here we go." But she didn't actually reach menopause until she was 54. Her experience is not uncommon. Gradual hormonal and physical changes typically start years before menopause, which begins at a woman's final menstrual period.
November 23, 2003 |
Sixty women for every man? That's the kind of ratio that a guy might find appealing. Until you tell him that he's going to "Menopause the Musical." At a recent preview at the Coronet Theatre, there were at least 200 women in the audience, and only three men. Including me. And really, I was there for work. This is the same theater that has hosted such productions as "The Vagina Monologues" and "Puppetry of the Penis."
November 21, 2003 |
Never underestimate the power of a niche market. Jeanie Linders hasn't. She has seen her creation "Menopause the Musical" swell from humble origins in a Florida shoebox theater into an off-Broadway smash. In addition to numerous U.S. and Canadian productions, "Menopause" openings are planned in Australia and the U.K. Inevitably, the show has now arrived in Los Angeles. On opening night at the Coronet Theatre, the audience was composed almost entirely of women of a "certain age."
September 14, 2003 |
Within the past two years, the largest space at the Coronet Theatre in West Hollywood has been the home of "The Vagina Monologues" and "Puppetry of the Penis." Coming up Oct. 30: "Menopause -- the Musical," which focuses on four middle-aged women who meet in the lingerie department at Bloomingdale's.Ted Rawlins, who operates the theater, said the string of physiologically related titles is coincidental. He pointed out that "Too Jewish?" and "Sam" also played there during the same period.
March 31, 2003 |
After hearing last summer that hormone replacement therapy may do more harm than good, Donna Hayden tossed her supply of estrogen and progestin. That was the easy part. Within five days, the 56-year-old Costa Mesa woman developed hot flashes. Soon after, she began losing sleep and having trouble concentrating. Six weeks later, Hayden was on her way to the pharmacy to pick up a new supply of pills. "I felt like a junkie," she said. "But I had to go back on them."
March 3, 2003 |
The common caution not to give a breast-feeding newborn a pacifier has proved to be true. Hold off for at least four weeks, conclude the authors of a study comparing how long babies nursed if given a pacifier early (before they were 5 days old) or later (at 1 month old). More than 700 pregnant women who planned to breast-feed were recruited by University of Rochester (N.Y.) researchers and randomly assigned to one of four groups.
February 17, 2003 |
Women troubled with hot flashes and unwilling to take hormones may have an alternative in gabapentin, a drug used to treat seizures and shingles pain. For 12 weeks, 59 women participating in a University of Rochester study took either gabapentin, 900 milligrams a day, or a placebo. The frequency and severity of hot flashes were reduced by 54% in the women taking gabapentin, compared with a 31% reduction in the women who took a placebo.