September 5, 2023 from Medscape
In the United States, menopause care confronts a significant inadequacy, marked by persistent misconceptions and gaps in medical education. Dr. Ashley Winter, Chief Medical Officer of the online women’s health clinic Odela Health, emphasizes the underutilization of effective interventions like low-dose estrogen vaginal creams, calling it “one of the most meaningful interventions I’ve ever offered to a patient.” She notes that businesses like Odela Health thrive in the menopause area because traditional healthcare often falls short.
A growing number of medical professionals are steering away from traditional practice to join online women’s health companies, recognizing the dissatisfaction and desperation among patients who have sought care for years. Dr. Stephanie Faubion, from The North American Menopause Society, laments the conspicuous deficiency of understanding about menopause care among the general public, stating, “I don’t think there’s a lot of knowledge on the risk-benefits of hormone therapy in general.”
Addressing menopause symptoms can be surprisingly straightforward, as experts highlight the effectiveness of low-dose estrogen vaginal creams. Despite this, Dr. Andrea Rapkin, a professor at UCLA, acknowledges the challenge of patient noncompliance, revealing, “I’ll prescribe an estrogen product and I’ll find out they didn’t take it even though I’ll reassure them.” Lingering concerns and misconceptions from early research continue to influence patient decisions.
Traditional healthcare’s failure to adequately address menopause has led to the thriving success of businesses like Odela Health. Gynecologists, who predominantly focus on reproductive issues, often release women from their care after they finish having children. Dr. Winter notes that despite two decades passing since the dissemination of false information on estrogen products, the FDA still mandates black-box warnings, calling it “one of the most damaging PR misadventures of modern medicine,” and noting instances where women have been harmed by it.
More than a million women in the US experience menopause each year, with a significant portion reporting disruptions in their job performance due to symptoms. However, a substantial number of women still do not receive the necessary and proper care. Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi points to a systemic problem in medical education, where residents may lack exposure to menopause treatments due to patient demographics. Patients actively going through menopause are underserved, given the limitations of Medicaid and Medicare coverage.
The inadequacy of menopause care is exacerbated by persistent misinformation, gaps in medical training, and systemic issues that leave many women without proper treatment. Effective interventions, such as low-dose estrogen creams, are underutilized, and there is a pressing need for improved education and awareness in the medical community and among the general public.
Considering an IME or document review to resolve an insurance claim, legal file, or workplace health and safety issue?
Our specialists provide evidence-based opinions, so get in touch with Western Medical today to learn more about our services.