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Cheryl Ladd

Best known for her role as one of "Charlie's Angels," Cheryl Ladd's other notable career performances include, "When She Was Bad," "Every Mother's Worst Fear," "Permanent Midnight," and her Broadway debut in "Annie Get Your Gun."

Cheryl is currently working with Dr. Donnica and other women physicians on Baseline 50, a national campaign to educate women about menopause and its treatment options including HRT.

Menopause and Treatment Options

At 46, menopause was the last thing on my mind.  I felt young, healthy and vibrant.  When I began experiencing unfamiliar symptoms, including mood swings and skin changes, it never occurred to me that I might be entering menopause.

I did a little research and found out that my symptoms might be related to estrogen loss. I began to work through the first phase of my denial - it was time to admit I was experiencing the onset of menopause. 

Even when I started to entertain the notion that these changes might signal menopause, I denied that I needed to speak with someone about it. After all, I was doing everything right. I ate well, exercised, and took a daily calcium supplement - all the things I was supposed to do to protect my health.

I considered my self informed on health matters and thought I could handle menopause without too much trouble. Only later did I realize that this was another form of denial. 

Eventually, my mood swings got to a point that my husband asked me to please speak with the doctor. I was always such an upbeat person, yet I had begun spending time in bed, weeping.  It was so unlike me. 

My doctor suggested I try hormone replacement therapy to help me alleviate the symptoms I was experiencing.  After some initial discussions, I agreed to try it.  My doctor told me that not only would it help my symptoms, HRT would help me protect my bones against osteoporosis.  While this was a benefit, I did not realize its significance, because I felt my bones were protected by my healthy lifestyle. 

My doctor also suggested I take a bone mineral density test at this time.  Imagine my surprise when the results came in that I had already experienced early menopausal bone loss in my left hip! 

As a petite, fair woman I knew I was at risk for osteoporosis, but I was not aware that the estrogen loss of menopause increased that risk. 

I found menopause to be an unnerving, confusing time and was dismayed at the lack of clear, straightforward information available to answer my questions.  It seemed like everything I read raised more questions than answers.  That is the reason I chose to speak out - I did not want other women to go through the same confusion I did.  With a little information, women can celebrate menopause as the transition to a new phase in their lives, and make it a less fearful time.

Click here for more information on menopause.

Created: 5/13/2002  -  Cheryl Ladd

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