PLAINSBORO, N.J., Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As many as 75 percent of women who have gone through menopause are living with vaginal dryness, a bothersome symptom that they feel is negatively affecting their quality of life.[1,2] Despite the high prevalence, only 25 percent of women with vaginal dryness will take action to resolve it. To address this, five leading women's health advocates today announced the formation of GLAM™ (Great Life After Menopause), an alliance that will encourage the millions of women whose lives are disrupted by this "silent symptom" of menopause to speak up and seek help.
Geri Brin, founder of women's online destination FabOverFifty.com; Ellen Dolgen, founder of Menopause Mondays and author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness; Karen Giblin, president and founder of Red Hot Mamas menopause education programs; Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50; and Staness Jonekos, author of The Menopause Makeover: The Ultimate Guide to Taking Control of Your Health and Beauty During Menopause will raise awareness of the vaginal changes associated with menopause and educate women that these changes are due to a chronic, treatable condition.
Renowned menopause specialist, Mary Jane Minkin, MD, FACOG, NCMP, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine, will serve as the group's medical consultant.
Vaginal dryness, along with other vaginal symptoms – like vaginal irritation, itching in and around the vagina, pain and bleeding during intercourse, vaginal soreness, and pain or bleeding during urination – are most commonly caused by the vaginal changes that occur before and after menopause due to diminishing levels of estrogen. These changes are collectively referred to as vaginal atrophy.
"Women tend to shy away from talking about things like vaginal and sexual health," says Dr. Minkin. "Whether it's because of embarrassment, cultural norms, or a lack of understanding that vaginal discomfort can be tied to declining levels of estrogen, too many women are waiting a year, or two or three, before they seek medical advice for their symptoms."
While it is obvious that vaginal discomfort may have a negative impact on the quality of one's sex life, research shows that women also felt vaginal discomfort had a negative impact on feeling healthy and attractive, exercise, travel, a loving relationship with a partner and overall quality of life.[2,3]
"More than just 'ruining the mood,' vaginal discomfort can be debilitating for some women," says Dr. Minkin. "We hear stories in the office that women can't sit for too long, ride a bicycle, or wear pants because the discomfort is too great. It can really hinder a woman's lifestyle."
"Our research shows that women don't feel comfortable discussing their vaginal symptoms with their health care professional or their partner, which further reinforces the taboo nature of this topic," said John Spera, Senior Director – Hormone Therapy Marketing, Novo Nordisk Inc. "We assembled this group of vibrant, outspoken menopause experts who can help encourage women to start the conversation and seek the help they need. GLAM™ (Great Life After Menopause) is not a campaign; it's a movement for empowerment and women's health, and it's long overdue."
For more information about GLAM™ (Great Life After Menopause) and vaginal symptoms related to menopause, visit GreatLifeAfterMenopause.com.
About GLAM™ (Great Life After Menopause)
Five outspoken women's health advocates who have experienced menopause have united to lend their distinctive voices to help raise awareness of the vaginal changes associated with menopause; educate that these changes may be due to a chronic, treatable condition; and empower women to break the taboo and seek treatment so they can live their lives to the fullest. By harnessing the power of social media, the women of GLAM™ will rally women around this very important topic.
The alliance members are:
- Geri Brin, founder of women's online destination FabOverFifty.com
- Ellen Dolgen, founder of Menopause Mondays, author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness and owner of one of Healthline's 13 Best Menopause Blogs of 2013
- Karen Giblin, founder of Red Hot Mamas, the largest menopause education program in North America. She is a sought-after speaker and influencer in the women's health care community and author of Eat to Defeat Menopause and Management Counseling for the Perimenopausal and Menopausal Patient
- Barbara Hannah Grufferman, National Osteoporosis Foundation's first Bone Health Ambassador, AARP columnist and YouTube Channel host and author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money, and More
- Staness Jonekos, whose blog was also voted one of Healthline's 13 Best Menopause Blogs of 2013, is also a contributor to the Huffington Post and Dr. Oz's Sharecare.com. She has appeared on The Today Show and is a member of the North American Menopause Society
Mary Jane Minkin, MD, FACOG, NCMP, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine, will serve as the medical consultant to the alliance.
GLAM™ (Great Life After Menopause) is assembled and sponsored by Novo Nordisk Inc.
About Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy (VA) is the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal wall, which occurs when there is a reduction in levels of estrogens. Estrogens, produced by the ovaries, are responsible for maintaining the structure and function of the vaginal wall, elasticity of the tissues around the vagina, and production of vaginal fluid. Unlike certain other symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and night sweats, if left untreated, VA symptoms often get progressively worse over time. The symptoms are treatable; there are therapy options available that address the condition that causes them.
For more information on vaginal changes related to menopause and different types of available treatment options, visit vaginaldiscomfort.com.
About Novo Nordisk
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global health care company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within hemophilia care, growth hormone-related disorders and women's health. For more information, visit novonordisk-us.com or follow our news in the US on Twitter: @NovoNordiskUS.
© 2013 Novo Nordisk All rights reserved. 0813-00017647-1 September 2013
 The North American Menopause Society. The role of local vaginal estrogen for treatment of vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: 2007 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2007;14(3):357–369.
SOURCE Novo Nordisk