A change for THE BETTER
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|January 24, 2022
An exclusive extract from Nicky Pellegrino’s new book Don’t Sweat It, which takes an upbeat and novel approach to managing menopause

The Weekly’s books editor and health journalist Nicky Pellegrino’s new release looks at a hot topic – menopause. Don’t Sweat It is a guide to menopause for the modern woman. It shares insights from experts, along with Nicky’s own personal experiences, and what this time of life has meant for her friends and some well-known Kiwi women.

Nicky has interviewed experts for the latest, credible research on the many options out there to help women make the right choice for themselves on how to manage their menopause symptoms.

One of the ways to treat menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), has been a hot topic in recent years. In Don’t Sweat It, Nicky explains some of the controversy surrounding HRT in the past and speaks to experts about treatments today.

Dr Anna Fenton is a gynaecological endocrinologist at Canterbury DHB, where she is clinical lead for bone densitometry. She is a member of the pharmacology and therapeutic advisory committee for endocrinology and a past president of the Australasian Menopause Society.

Q&A with Christchurch endocrinologist Anna Fenton from Don’t Sweat It

ARE PEOPLE STILL RATTLED ABOUT HRT?

Yes, they are. I think the problem is that the media did such a good job of increasing anxiety. Once people have fixed ideas – and that applies to doctors as well as to women – it’s very hard to change them back again. Women have been left with the idea that they have no options at all. They just have to grit their teeth and keep going. It’s almost become a feminist issue, that you just have to tough it out. But there’s such a wide range of options women can take. It’s not just that you have to take HRT or nothing at all – there are quite simple complementary or prescription therapies available. So I think it’s important to let women know they’ve got options and if they’re having symptoms, don’t suffer. Look into what those options might be.

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