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Managing Menopause -- A Mind-Body Connection

While every woman goes through menopause at some point in her life, the symptoms and timing can differ — often significantly — from woman to woman.

Midlife can be a wonderful time for women, but there also are challenges in maintaining health as a woman’s body changes, according to Dr. Victoria Leiphart, a gynecologist at Washington Township Medical Foundation in Fremont.

Some women will experience only mild menopause symptoms. Dr. Leiphart says. Other women may develop persistent hot flashes and night sweats that disrupt sleep, rapid bone density loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis, weight gain, mood swings — even depression — and other symptoms that decrease quality of life.

Dr. Leiphart will discuss “Menopause: A Mind-Body Connection Approach” at a Washington Hospital Health & Wellness seminar from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 11. The free program will be held in rooms A & B of the Conrad E. Anderson, MD, Auditorium at Washington West, 2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont.

At the seminar, Dr. Leiphart will discuss what works and what doesn’t work in managing menopause symptoms including how to use stress management techniques as well as nutrition and exercise, particularly yoga and meditation, to cope with menopause symptoms. Most women seek natural, non-hormonal ways to manage the symptoms of menopause, Dr. Leiphart adds.

Technically, menopause is defined as when a woman reaches one year past her last menstrual period but symptoms often begin several years earlier. Most women reach menopause in their early 50s, but others have their last period in their 40s and others later in their 50s.

While menopause symptoms often vary from mother to daughter (they are not genetically based), there are clear ethnic differences in the effects of menopause, Dr. Leiphart explains. “Women of African heritage often have the most severe hot flashes and women of Asian heritage the least severe. Caucasian women fall somewhere in between, she says.

She urges women who are in the midst of menopause or anticipating moving into that phase of their lives before too long to attend the seminar.

To register for the free seminar or for more information, please visit or call 800.963.7070. The seminars may be televised on InHealth, a Washington Hospital television channel (Comcast Channel 78) and online at