If you’re a woman in your 40s or 50s and are starting to notice changes in your body, you may be experiencing the early stages of menopause. Menopause is often thought of as a transition into the next stage of life. This transition isn’t always easy for our patients to understand and we’re here to help. Let’s discuss what menopause is, how you know you may be going through menopause, and how to treat your menopause symptoms.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the stage in life in which women’s menstrual cycles stop. Generally affecting women in their 40s and 50s, menopause is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without experiencing her period. Women who go through menopause are often met with a wide variety of uncomfortable symptoms. It’s important to note that going through menopause and not being able to bear children anymore is not an excuse to stop seeing a women’s health specialist like a gynecologist. Regular women’s wellness visits are still recommended to ensure you are healthy.
What Causes Menopause?
Menopause is a completely natural stage of life to experience. Menopause starts when the ovaries no longer release eggs. This is often coupled with a reduction in the production of sexual hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Menopause can also be a result of the surgical removal of the ovaries or aggressive cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. If you are experiencing either of these treatments, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about what to expect following your course of treatment.
Signs & Symptoms of Menopause
Patients typically know they’re going through menopause because of the long list of symptoms they experience. Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Dry skin
- Hot flashes
- Missing or sporadic periods
- Night sweats
- Sudden changes in mood
- Thinning hair
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
If you are experiencing two or more of the above symptoms consistently, you may be going through menopause. It’s important you talk to your women’s wellness doctor to ensure you receive the right course of treatment to ease these symptoms, making your transition a little easier.
When it comes to treating your menopause, your doctor is going to focus on treating your symptoms. This is often done with a personalized treatment plan, tailored to your individual needs. The most common courses of action to reduce symptoms of menopause include hormone replacement therapy and the use of medications.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a course of treatment that helps to supplement the hormones that are naturally depleted throughout your transition into menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Rather, patients who receive hormone replacement therapy will receive a balance of hormones that are tailored to them. These hormones can be delivered via a cream, gel, patch, pill, or injectable pellet.
Medication is often used to treat specific symptoms of menopause a woman may be experiencing. This includes low-dose anti-anxiety medication or anti-depressants to ward off unwanted changes in mood. This may also include medications to help you get a better night’s sleep or enhance your sexual satisfaction.
Menopause Treatments Near Me
Going through menopause doesn’t mean your life is coming to a halt – your next stage of life is just beginning! Don’t let menopause intimidate you. Get the treatment you need for your symptoms, so you can live your life to the fullest once again.
To learn more about your personal menopause treatment plan, we encourage you to call Show Low Family Clinic at (541) 315-8338. You can also request a telehealth appointment with our convenient online appointment request form.