For immediate release

To the NIH Conference on Menopausal Hormone Therapy

“Menopause is Not a Disease” –
Certified Menopause Educator Calls for
Holistic Treatment Approach for Mid-Life Women

October 29, 2002 (Washington, D.C.) – A woman psychotherapist and certified menopause educator addressed the National Institutes of Health and asked the medical community to stop treating menopausal women as if they had a disease. During the NIH National Conference on Menopausal Hormone Therapy, Lenore Pomerance, MSW, LICSW. called for a holistic approach that includes the traditional medical model, relieves pressure on physicians, and better serves the needs of women.

“The raging debate about the health risks and benefits of hormone therapy stems from the traditional medical model in which menopause is treated as a disease,” said Pomerance. “In the holistic model, menopause is seen as a natural condition. Under the holistic model, medications and lifestyle changes are given equal weight in treating menopausal symptoms.”

“I believe treating women holistically relieves the pressure on the physician to solve all problems of menopausal mid-life women,” Pomerance continued, “and offers women the services of health practitioners with expertise in mental health, nutrition, and physical therapy.”

She noted that many issues that women face in mid- life may not be directly related to the cessation of menstruation and natural drop in hormone levels. Relationships, career issues, financial matters, and “empty nest” syndrome can all contribute to menopause being a difficult time, but hormone replacement therapy does not solve these life issues, she said.

For most women, menopause is not a negative event, she noted. “Studies have shown that if women have overall life satisfaction, menopause is not experienced as stressful. If mid-life women are in crisis, there may be many factors that are unrelated or only partially related to hormones. A holistic approach treats all of these factors, and helps a woman decide whether or not HRT is the right choice for them.”

Pomerance’s complete statement is available at She is available for media interviews and workshops on this and related topics.

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