The Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi wrote, “the flowers flee from autumn, but not you; you are the fearless rose that grows amid the freezing wind.” Like the fleeing flowers, we frequently fear change; as Western women, we often dread our own autumn, atime marked by the progressive cessation of our menstruation—that is,our menopausal transition.
Menopause, while often causing dis-ease, is not a disease; it is a natural part of aging, characterized by hormonal changes spanning many years. Though it is considered complete when a woman does not menstruate for 12 consecutive months, perimenopausal hormonal changes precede this cessation and continue beyond this milestone.
The experience of the menopausal transition for each woman, like the woman herself, is unique and, like health, is affected by an array of biological, cultural, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors. Research shows that attitudes toward menopause have a significant role in the experience, largely serving as self-fulfilling prophecies. Women who have negative attitudes toward menopause and aging are more likely to report both a greater number and a greater frequency of menopausal symptoms.
“Be the fearless rose: embrace transition with grace and continue to grow. Your positivity may pervade your experience.”
This autumn, the GW Center for Integrative Medicine is embracing its own transformation and growth. Dr. Susan Hurson and Rosina Cabo have joined Dr. Deirdre Orceyre and Mary Kendell to expand their Women’s Health Initiative to serve women through all transitions of life.
Dr. Susan Hurson
Hurson is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and a member of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine. Aside from general gynecology, her areas of interest include: abnormal Pap smears; hormonal problems including premenstrual symptoms, irregular cycles, menopausal changes, mood disorders and hormonal interactions; vulvar skin problems; vulvar pain, i.e., vulvodynia and pain with sex, bladder pain and interstitial cystitis. One of the joys of her specialty, Hurson enjoys seeing women of any age who need gynecologic care.
Cabo is a board-certified physician assistant with additional board certification in anti-aging, regenerative, and functional medicine from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, as well as a Master of Science in metabolic and nutritional medicine. Her treatment plans incorporate bioidentical hormone replacement, nutrition, herbals, lifestyle adjustments, and complimentary therapies to help the body heal and regain balance.
Cabo’s areas of interest include:addressing hormonal imbalances for men and women, infertility, irregular menstrual bleeding, menopausal problems, osteopenia, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual syndrome and thyroid disorders.
Dr. Deirdre Orceyre
Orceyre has specialty training in naturopathic women’s health and has studied with naturopathic gynecology leaders, Drs. Tori Hudson and Kimberly Windstar. She works to identify unique functional imbalances that may be leading to conditions such as: premenstrual syndrome; irregular menses; menstrual cramps; polycystic ovarian syndrome; endometriosis; uterine fibroids; ovarian cysts; hormonally related symptoms, such as acne and migrainesand perimenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, fatigue and irritability. Dr. Orceyre uses specialty testing along with treatments such as diet, lifestyle, herbal medicine, vitamins and minerals, homeopathy, flower essences and acupuncture to optimize health.
Kendell is a women’s health care nurse practitioner with a Master of Science degree and postgraduate certifications in sexual counseling and education. In addition to general gynecology, Kendell’s current areas of interest include: evaluation and treatment of chronic and recurrent vaginal infections and sexual pain; as well as sexuality counseling for men and women on a variety of issues, such as problems with orgasm,low libido, sexual pain, sexually transmitted diseases, relationship issues, and sexuality problems related to medical issues, including intimacy after cancer.
She also enjoys collaborating with this team of amazing professionals that put their passion and knowledge together to create an integrated and comprehensive approach to health and wellness.
For more information about women’s wellness and services, visit GW Center for Integrative Medicine at GWCIM.com or call 202-833-5055. See ad page 2.
Kami Nicole Veltri is a medical student working at the GW Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington, D.C. during time off from her conventional medical education.