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The Midlife Women's Health Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide leading-edge research, consultations and educational resources for clinicians and patients at menopause and beyond.
Health and quality of life concerns of women at midlife involve almost all areas of healthcare. Based within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mass General, the center is a collaboration of specialists in:
By working together, our unique team hopes to advance care, research and education for menopause and other health conditions that affect women in midlife.
One of the priorities of the Midlife Women’s Health Center is to support leading-edge research and educational activities that advance the field of midlife women’s health. Our experts conduct and present research that addresses the special needs of midlife women and aims to improve care during and after menopause. Each year, we provide a number of educational programs, including:
Watch conference videos
Our specialists are dedicated to improving care for women at menopause and beyond through research, collaboration and education and by connecting patients with appropriate care for their individual needs.
Director, Mass General Midlife Women’s Health Center Director, Menopause Program, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-Director, Mass General Midlife Women’s Health Center Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Medical Director, Mass General Midlife Women’s Health Center Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Nursing Director, Mass General Midlife Women’s Health CenterNursing Director, Ambulatory Gynecology
Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryDepartment of Surgery
Director Emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Training ProgramDivision of Rheumatology
Department of Endocrinology
Department of Neurology
Medical Director, Women’s Health AssociatesDepartment of Medicine
Coordinator, Clinical Programs and ServicesMass General Weight Center
Division of Gynecologic OncologyDepartment of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Department of Social Service
Senior Research Psychiatrist, Center for Women's Mental HealthDepartment of Psychiatry
Director of Women’s Health, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
Digestive Healthcare CenterDepartment of Gastroenterology
Director, Mass General Weight CenterDepartment of Surgery
Director, Breast ProgramCo-Director, Gillette Center for Women's CancersDivision of Surgical Oncology
Department of Dermatology
Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Co-Director, Corrigan Women’s Heart Health ProgramMass General Heart Center
The Midlife Women’s Health Center serves as a resource for patients and health care providers.
Created by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Pause Magazine is a guide to midlife health.
Information from the North American Menopause Society on bioidentical hormone therapy
Information from the North American Menopause Society on vaginal dryness
Information from the North American Menopause Society on treating hot flashes
Watch the Massachusetts General Hospital Midlife Women’s Health Center's 2015 educational program for patients, staff and members of the community focusing on the unique health needs of women at midlife.
Learn more about approaches to treatment for menopause and other health concerns faced by women in midlife.
Malissa Wood, MD, Co-Director of the Corrigan Women's Heart Health Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center describes the heart attack symptoms that are unique to women, and why treatment of heart disease should be gender-specific.
Marcela Del Carmen, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center says that the risk for cervical cancer goes up, not down, as you age. Learn about your risk for cervical cancer, and the new guidelines that caution women to continue to get PAP smears into their 60s.
May Wakamatsu, MD, director of the Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the various ways the service can help women with pelvic floor problems return to a normal lifestyle.
W.G. (Jay) Austen Jr., MD, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses a cutting edge procedure done at Mass General: Plastic Surgery for Migraines.
Sandy Tsao, MD, a specialist in laser and cosmetic dermatology, discusses strategies for keeping skin healthy as we age. Her presentation addresses causes of sun damage, methods for protection, and strategies for reversing sun damage to the skin.
Kyle Staller, MD, MPH, an internist at the Center for Neurointestinal Health, discusses common gastrointestinal issues faced by women, including heartburn, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and incontinence. Dr. Staller explains the role neurological components play in each and the importance of seeking treatment.
Kate Johnston MD, MA, MSc, FACP, an internist at the Mass General Women’s Health Associates, discusses the importance and implications of cancer screenings for women as they age. Dr. Johnston reviews screening methods for breast, cervical and colon cancers.
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Health and quality of life concerns of women at midlife involve almost all areas of healthcare. Our multidisciplinary specialists help patients manage a full range of symptoms related to perimenopause, natural or surgical menopause and life beyond menopause.
Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The glands become clogged, leading to pimples and cysts.
An adjustment disorder is defined as an emotional or behavioral reaction to an identifiable stressful event or change in a person's life that is considered maladaptive or somehow not an expected, healthy response to the event or change.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die, often resulting in symptoms such as impaired memory, thinking and behavior.
Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by absent menstrual periods for more than three monthly menstrual cycles.
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.
Atherosclerosis is a thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a build-up of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.
Baldness, also known as alopecia, is hair loss, or absence of hair.
Breast cancer is a condition in which certain cells in the breast become abnormal and multiply without control to form a tumor.
Candidiasis, sometimes called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes.
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine because of a sensitivity to gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. This hereditary disorder interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food.
If abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix spread deeper into the cervix, or to other tissues or organs, the disease is then called cervical cancer, or invasive cervical cancer.
A painful irritation of the cervix, cervicitis often lasts several months or longer, sometimes occurring after childbirth or use of oral contraceptives.
Colorectal cancer is malignant cells found in the colon or rectum.
Constipation is a condition in which a person has uncomfortable or infrequent bowel movements.
Coronary heart disease occurs when cholesterol builds up within the walls of the heart’s arteries (coronary arteries), forming what is called plaque.
Cystocele is the name for a hernia-like disorder in women that occurs when the wall between the bladder and the vagina weakens, causing the bladder to drop or sag into the vagina.
A depressive disorder is a whole-body illness, involving the body, mood, and thoughts, and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things.
Type 1 diabetes may also be known by a variety of other names, including the following: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), juvenile diabetes, brittle diabetes, or sugar diabetes.
Dry skin is a very common skin condition, usually characterized by irritated skin and itchiness. Dry skin often worsens in the winter, when the air is cold and dry.
Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain associated with menstruation.
Dysthymia, also known as dysthymic disorder, is classified as a type of affective disorder (also called mood disorder) that often resembles a less severe, yet more chronic form of major (clinical) depression.
Cancer of the endometrium, the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs, is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the endometrium. Endometrioid cancer is a specific type of endometrial cancer.
Excessive hairiness, also known as hirsutism, is characterized by abnormal hair growth on areas of skin that are not normally hairy.
Generalized breast lumpiness is known by names such as "fibrocystic disease" and "fibroid breasts." Doctors now believe these are just part of the normal breast changes many women undergo throughout the various stages of their lives.
Gallstones form when bile stored in the gallbladder hardens into stone-like material.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is caused by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes its sufferers chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that seem to have no substantial cause.
Shedding 50 to 100 hairs a day is normal. When a hair is shed, it is replaced by a new hair from the same follicle and the growing cycle starts again. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month. As people age, the rate of hair growth slows.
Hair problems may be due to cosmetic causes, such as excessive shampooing and blow-drying, or due to underlying diseases, such as thyroid problems.
A headache is pain or discomfort in the head or face area.
A heart attack occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.
Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine.
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels, normally present in and around the anus and lower rectum, that have become swollen due to stretching under pressure.
Hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome is an abnormal version of the gene BRCA1 or BRCA2, which increases a person’s risk of developing various types of cancer
Blood pressure, measured with a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope by a nurse or other health care provider, is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls.
Underactive parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormones. This causes low levels of calcium in the blood.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder that causes the following: crampy pain, gassiness, bloating, changes in bowel habits.
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms from crystallization of excreted substances in the urine.
Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning.
Major depression, also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression, is classified as a type of affective disorder or mood disorder that goes beyond the day's ordinary ups and downs, becoming a serious medical condition and important health concern in this country.
Menopause refers to the time in a woman’s life when the menstrual cycle stops permanently. It is a normal, natural event that occurs in all women.
Menorrhagia is the most common type of abnormal uterine bleeding characterized by heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes the presence of a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and/or stroke.
Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder with no known cause. It involves the body's central nervous system. Narcolepsy is a genetic disorder, but what causes narcolepsy is not yet known.
Obesity increases the risk for many diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease in which there is a loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissue, causing weakening of the bones in the hips, spine and wrists.
Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant cells are found in an ovary.
Panic disorder is characterized by chronic, repeated, and unexpected panic attacks - bouts of overwhelming fear of being in danger when there is no specific cause for the fear
Perimenopause refers to the transitional period of time before menstruation actually stops, which is marked by changes in the menstrual cycle, along with other physical and emotional symptoms.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs.
Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic, autoimmune disease, is the most crippling form of arthritis and affects approximately 2.1 million Americans.
Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells and accounts for more than 50 percent of all cancers.
Sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.
Stroke, also called brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted.
The thyroid gland, which plays an important role in the body's metabolism, secretes several hormones: thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin.
Urinary tract infections describe a health problem that results from a bacterial infection along the urinary tract.
Cancers that occur in each part of the uterus have their own names, such as cervical cancer or endometrial cancer, but are sometimes broadly defined as uterine cancer because the structure is part of the uterus.
Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system.
Cancer of the vagina, a rare kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which malignant cells are found in the tissues of the vagina.
Vaginitis refers to any inflammation or infection of the vagina.
This throbbing type of headache is distinguished by the fact that symptoms other than pain occur with the headache.
Vulvar cancer is a malignancy that can occur on any part of the external organs, but most often affects the labia majora or labia minora.
Vulvitis is simply an inflammation of the vulva, the soft folds of skin outside the vagina.
Vulvovaginal atrophy refers to a condition when a woman develops pain, dryness, itching and irritation of the vagina and vulva caused by low estrogen levels, usually as a result of menopause.
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Midlife Women’s Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care is an annual, one-day continuing medical education (CME) course for medical professionals presented by the Midlife Women’s Health Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Midlife Women’s Health: Staying Healthy and Well is a free educational program at Massachusetts General Hospital for patients, staff and members of the community focusing on the unique health needs of women at midlife.
Learn more about menopause, as well as health concerns and approaches to treatment for women in midlife.
With the help of coordinated, multidisciplinary care provided by physicians in the MGH Pelvic Floor Disorder Service, 39-year-old patient Nicole Ortuno is once again living a normal, healthy life.
Nearly one in three American women has one or more pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. The Pelvic Floor Disorders Service at Mass General offers a range of non-surgical and surgical options for treatment.
MGH Hotline 12.04.09 The inspiration for creating the CBS Cares public service Pap smears web campaign – featuring MGH Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Chief Isaac Schiff, MD, and gynecologic surgeon Marcela G. del Carmen, MD, MPH – began when a CBS Cares producer overheard a conversation between two women while dining at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village.
Nearly one-third of American women have one or more pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence or pelvic-organ prolapse. The Pelvic Floor Disorders Service at Mass General offers expert care and helps bring lasting relief to those suffering from a pelvic floor disorder.
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