This is a time of change for many women and at Mission Ob/Gyn we believe
that it is important to have a doctor with whom you feel comfortable discussing
these issues with. There are many different options for managing menopausal
symptoms and our doctors will meet with you and discuss the treatment
in which will ultimately fit your needs, based on your medical and family
history and your beliefs.
Perimenopause - This is a transitional phase in your life, which is typically between
the ages of 45-55, (timing can vary). During this time you will notice
a gradual decline in estrogen production by the ovaries. It is common
amongst women and you may experience menstrual irregularities, as well
as mood changes. It is recommended that you consult with your physician
because other causes of irregular bleeding may occur and it is a great
time to discuss treatment options.
Menopause - When you have an absence of menstruation for 1 year, you are more than
likely experiencing menopause. The average age for most women to experience
menopause is 51 years old.
Hot flashes with declining estrogen levels about 75-85% of perimenopausal
women will experience these symptoms. It is described as a sudden feeling
of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. They can happen any time
and are variable in duration. They are a nuisance, embarrassing, and may
interfere with daily life, but are not harmful.
Sleep Disturbances - If you are premenopausal it is not uncommon to have frequent sleep disturbances
or night sweats. Furthermore, you may notice insomnia or sleep deprivation
and may awake before your usual time. During this premenopausal period
you may not get enough REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and as a result
you may feel more tired. Many women notice a change in mood or concentration
for a short period of time.
Vaginal Changes - Declining estrogen levels may cause your vaginal lining to get thin, dryer
and less flexible. You may also have discomfort due to vaginal burning
or itching. It is not uncommon for there to be pain during intercourse.
Sexual Changes - Your sex drive and sexual response may decrease in the menopausal years.
Bone Changes - Bone loss increases after menopause because the ovaries stop making estrogen,
which protects against bone loss. Rapid bone loss can lead to osteoporosis,
which is a condition rendering the bones fragile and weak and can lead
to fractures. Bone density screening is recommended for you and is conveniently
done in our office.
There is a broad spectrum of treatment modalities available for you depending
on your symptoms and needs. Simple lifestyle modifications can help with
your sleep disturbances and hot flashes. Some over the counter aids such
as lubricants or creams can help vaginal discomfort issues. Natural non-hormonal
remedies such as vitamin and herb supplementation have been proven useful.
Our office offers Menopause Relief, which is a daily supplement that can
help with multiple symptoms. We also recommend Calcium and Vitamin D for
strong healthy bones. (link to store) Hormone replacement therapy is not
for everyone although it may benefit you. Our physicians will treat you
as an individual and will help you make a decision based on your family
and medical history and symptoms. One of our services is to provide comprehensive
hormone level testing.