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The Girlfriend Doctor w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca

Aug 15, 2021

Dr. Lauren Streicher gives you a deep dive into the menopausal transition and why many women suffer from hot flash hell when they don’t need to. Learn how to understand your own body and what it needs so that you can enjoy your sex life after menopause, reduce your risk of breast cancer, and how cannabis is fast becoming a popular way to treat many of the worst menopause symptoms. 

  • Sexual health is often an area of life that many women find uncomfortable to talk about but the experience is fairly similar for all women. When it comes to menopause, the four most common challenges that women want to deal with are: hot flashes, getting more sleep, wanting sex to not hurt, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • These issues are not just about quality of life. Hot flashes can also contribute to serious medical conditions that can shorten lifespan. Research has shown that women have a 2.2 times increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • When someone has a hot flash, in addition to their internal furnace going out of control there are inflammatory changes occurring in every cell in the body.
  • Hot flashes are associated with insulin resistance, and when women become more insulin sensitive hot flashes can be reduced or eliminated completely.
  • One of the biggest challenges as health educators is ensuring women that estrogen is not dangerous and good for them. For the overwhelming majority of women, hormone therapy is one of the most effective and safe treatments there is.
  • Data shows that estrogen reduces the risk of breast cancer. For women who have breast cancer, there are non-estrogen options to treat your hot flashes.
  • There are new treatments that are also coming down the pipe right now that will be available for women in the next few years. It takes an average of 20 years for a drug to be developed and reach the pharmacy’s shelves.
  • SSRIs are one of the most common off-label treatments of hot flashes, but the problem with using these antidepressants is that a lot of women end up losing their libido, having trouble with orgasm, or gaining weight.
  • It takes more than hormones to fix your hormones. You can make lifestyle changes like intermittent fasting and Keto Green which can have a major impact on your hormones and quality of life.
  • It matters what you put in your mouth. Healthy eating is critically important to a healthy weight and lifestyle. You have to be mindful of how you treat your body long before menopause. When you’re 13 years old, you are setting the stage for your body in your 60’s.
  • We’re given one body and we have to take care of it and treat it right. We’re living longer and almost half our life is after the menopause transition.
  • One of the things that Dr. Streicher is talking about more with patients is using cannabis to treat menopausal symptoms. Cannabis may not be taught in medical school but it has been in the medical literature for a long time.
  • One study revealed that 27% of women have tried cannabis at some point in their life to try to relieve their menopause symptoms, but that number is probably much higher. The trouble is that not one is advising these women on how to take cannabis and are taking the wrong thing to address their symptoms.
  • The onus is on medical professionals to help women understand what they should be doing with cannabis to treat their symptoms.
  • When it comes to hot flashes, you specifically need a cannabis strain with THC more than CBD and it needs to be Indica rather than Sativa.
  • It’s important to remember that the person at the dispensary is not a medical professional and their advice is anecdotal. Dr. Streicher tells her patients to start slow and go low.
  • Science has shown that post-menopausal women metabolize cannabis differently than premenopausal women.
  • Nearly all women have reported that their sleep has improved when they use cannabis to treat their symptoms, which has a beneficial effect on their other symptoms.
  • Sleep has a direct connection to weight loss. If you’re only sleeping for 4 or 5 hours a night, that is directly sabotaging your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
  • The safest way for women to use cannabis is one of the tinctures that goes under the tongue. It bypasses the gastrointestinal tract and lungs and you’ll be able to gauge the effects much quicker.
  • Your cannabis source needs to be reliable and trustworthy. It matters what you’re getting and that the cannabis is consistent.
  • Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse is just one part of the greater picture. We need to look at the root cause of decreasing vaginal health.
  • You get wrinkles on your face and use products to improve them. Your vagina can benefit from the same sort of care.
  • Many women ignore their vulva in favor of the vagina. Medicating the vagina is only one piece of the puzzle.
  • Everyone will experience atrophy, thinning of the skin, and pain and discomfort unless we intervene, and the sooner the better. Using topical creams and making them part of your daily routine is critical.
  • The majority of women are not able to label all the parts of their genitalia. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting estrogen on the clitoris to increase the blood flow and the health of all the nerves in the area to make a huge difference in your sex life.
  • Many gynecologists just do the basics when it comes to the examination. Dr. Streicher focuses on teaching the patient about their own genitals and really understanding where and why they might be experiencing pain.
  • Vaginal pH level is one of the most important indicators of vaginal health and whether the patient has a healthy microbiome.
  • The most important part of the examination for a woman experiencing pain is a pelvic floor evaluation. Everyone thinks that having strong muscles is important, which is true, but equally important is having muscles that are able to relax. Pelvic floor pain is often a defense mechanism that needs to be addressed.
  • Get the mirror out and take a look at your own genitals to get comfortable with what’s healthy and what’s not.
  • The treatment for your vulva and your vagina is often different. There are a number of different treatment options depending on the goal and the area of application.



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Dr. Streicher’s books -



Always seek the advice of your own physician or qualified health professional before starting any treatment or plans. Information found here and results are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and are not intended as medical advice.