Why talk of menopause has long been taboo



Well Ranjit Ramasami,, University of Miami

Contrary to myths circulating on social media, vaccines against COVID-19 do not cause erectile dysfunction and male infertility.

What is true: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, poses a danger to both disorders.

So far, little research has been done on how the virus or vaccine affects the male reproductive system. But recent research by doctors and researchers from the University of Miami has shed new light on these issues.

The team, which includes me, found potentially far-reaching consequences for men of all ages – including young and middle-aged men who want to have children.

What the team found

I am the director with Reproductive Urology Program at the University of Miami at Miller Medical School. We are with colleagues analyzed tissue dissection of the testes of six men who died from COVID-19 infection.

Result: COVID-19 virus appeared in the tissues of one of the men; a decrease in sperm count appeared in three.

Another patient – a survivor of COVID-19 – had a testicular biopsy about three months after his primary COVID-19 infection was determined. A biopsy showed the coronavirus was still in the testicles.

Our team also found that COVID-19 affects the penis. Penile tissue analysis two men who received penile implants showed that the virus was present seven to nine months after diagnosis of COVID-19. Both men developed severe erectile dysfunction, possibly because the infection caused a decrease in the blood supply to the penis.

Notably, one of the men had only mild COVID-19 symptoms. Another was hospitalized. This suggests that even those with a relatively mild virus can correct severe erectile dysfunction after recovery.

These findings are not entirely surprising. After all, scientists know other viruses enter the testicles and affect sperm production and fertility.

One example: investigators studying testicular tissue in six patients who died of SARS-CoV in 2006 found that they all had extensive cell destruction, with little or no semen.

This It is also known that the pig and Zika viruses can get into the testicles and cause inflammation. Up to 20% of men infected with these viruses will disrupt sperm production.

A new study on vaccine safety

In America, not to mention menopause is a cultural norm Dr. Mary Jane Minkin contradicts. Minkin, a leading expert on women’s health, a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Board, is the host of the podcast “menopause: not muffled. ”

“There are many obstacles to talking about menopause,” Minkin said, pointing to factors that contribute to his taboo: “There is a reluctance to talk about sexual issues, and many people are not positive about aging.

“You just recently couldn’t call a vagina a vagina on TV!” Minkin said, adding, “Another problem with menopause is that we go through menopause as we get older, and we don’t have to age because aging is [considered] bad. ”

But Minkin, the second woman to graduate from the 1979 Yale OB-GYN residency program, says women need to talk about menopause.

This is the guiding principle “menopause: not muffled, “a podcast funded by Pfizer and released last summer. In the 20-25-minute series, women share their often funny, sometimes sad, but always overt experiences of menopause. Minkin offers her thoughts and explanations.

In a recent interview with HealthyWomen, Minkin discusses the podcast, its future, and the importance of talking about menopause.

The interview was edited for length and clarity.

Healthy WomenA: Tell the origin story for “Menopause: Included.”

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: “Menopause: Unchanging” grew out of this broader concept of how to have better conversations with patients. How do we, as health professionals, learn to communicate better? And how can we help patients communicate better so they get their scores?

The idea became, “Let’s deal with women to describe what they are going through. Because there is no universal experience of going through menopause.”

We first launched in the United States and expanded the series to other countries such as Canada and Denmark.

Women in different cultures experience menopause differently, and it’s interesting to hear other countries talk about menopause.

For example, in Katie’s story she is from Uganda where age is valued. She talks about her aunts who were examined. And menopause is something that has been discussed and celebrated. You get older, you get smarter. That’s good. So her experience is different from someone who is going through menopause and thinking, “I’m old”.

HW: In the first season of Susan’s story, who had emotional symptoms before physical ones, her desire to have a “gang” of people to talk to, and a decision to share the story of menopause even though people worried she was “exposing” herself really resonated.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: Susan is a career woman, and menopause just hit her on the head. We hope that women in their experience can understand that this is something they can identify with. She has no doubt that conversation helps.

HWA: You said that “menopause: without inclusion” is part of a larger project funded by Pfizer. What other work has been done on this topic?

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: As part of a larger project, some health literacy experts are working directly with women to develop a descriptive guide for women on how to talk about menopause, as well as a glossary of terms. After development, experts conducted some research and found women had the best knowledge about menopause after reading the guide.

Pfizer’s next goal is to bring leadership to women’s groups to help women communicate with their suppliers. The problem is – and why am I so happy to be involved – the knowledge there is awful. Women don’t get an education on menopause, and to put me on a high horse, clinicians don’t get either. Eighty percent of OB-GYN residency programs in the United States there was no official menopause program as of 2013. Now it’s a little better, but not drastically.

HW: Why is it important for women to discuss menopause?

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: Mostly people don’t want to talk about menopause because it’s a reflection of aging. Also, we like that people can say it’s not too bad. But I just want people to talk. If they can talk about menopause and the question of what happens and how find relief of symptoms, they can do better.

HWA: Could you stay in places that respect aging and how it is different for women?

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: I think in many societies people respect age and wisdom. If you look at Asian and African societies where seniors are considered good, noble people–– where age is valued – the symptoms of menopause are less disturbing. That is, hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings are less pronounced.

HW: Other than menopausal women, do you hope to reach anyone else with “menopause: uninvolved”?

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin: What’s really interesting to me is the interest in the podcast among men, which I think is incredible, because if you can get along with a partner, it’s extraordinary. So I think the guys are inadvertently getting help.

Another group is young women. You may have a 36-year-old boy with a neon sign on his forehead. ”
I’m in perimenopauseSo you have to listen and compose everything for her.

HWA: Is there anything else you would like to highlight?

Dr. Mary Jane MinkinA: It was an honor for me to participate in this project. I think it will help a lot of people.

I should also note that if someone feels bad and doesn’t get answers, they can find a menopausal expert next to them through the North American Menopause Society’s online tool at
menopause.org.

Season 3 of Menopause: Silence will tell the story of menopause from a different perspective.


What is it like to be a partner, a family member, a friend of a woman going through menopause?

Interested in being the voice of next menopause season: not disabled?

If you want to share your story and are interested in learning more, visit http://bit.ly/menopauseunmuted3.

Seasons 1 and 2 are available to listen to www.menopauseunmuted.com.

This resource was created with the support of Pfizer.

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