The Sexy Years came as a complete surprise - certainly not what I had expected when I initially sat down to read it. Suzanne Somers takes a complicated subject and humanizes it with her very personal story, accompanied by information from medical experts she has worked with in her effort to live a hormonally-balanced, vivaciously happy, second-half of life.
Her comical description of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause – “the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause…Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All-Dried-Up” – was an insight to how positively she handles the monkey-wrenches life can throw at you.
Her “take charge” attitude is to be admired when it comes to how she handles the limited choices that are given to women suffering the symptoms of menopause. This book is one of the reasons why there are many women who now know that the one-size-fits-all traditional hormone replacement therapy, which may be the only one recommended by their gynecologist, is not their only option.
She brings to light the fact that many doctors do not know enough about female hormones because they never received adequate training, and therefore urges women to seek out doctors who are knowledgeable on the subject, if their current doctor is not. Many of us already know the reason medications are ‘pushed’ at us (and that’s not just HRT) – it’s the booming pharmaceutical industry.
Parts of the book contains interviews she conducts with her endocrinologist, doctors and well-known specialists in the field of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), where she asks the questions we might ask. In return, there are factual and interesting answers we can understand without getting lost in the medical mumbo-jumbo. It was interesting to read the passages from various women and their choices/experiences with traditional HRT, BHRT and one that used no hormone replacement therapy at all.
As far as the men in our lives, it was not so much of a surprise as to how our changes can affect them; however it was extremely enlightening to learn about the hormonal changes they also experience as they age, which can cause a loss of energy and stamina. They too, have options available to help balance out the changes.
Although I personally think that she goes a little extreme with her therapy, if you are looking for a book that explains how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy works in plain English, then this is an excellent introduction. If you are familiar with the concept, but are confused about where to start, what doctors to look for, etc., then I recommend reading The Sexy Years.