What is menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life that marks the end of her fertility. It is officially diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without your period. Most women in the United States reach menopause around age 51.
Once you’re menopausal, your production of estrogen and progesterone significantly decreases. This not only causes menopausal symptoms, but also increases your risk of various health issues, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopausal symptoms may begin before you officially reach menopause due to the fluctuations in your hormone levels leading up to menopause that cause an irregularity in your menstrual cycle. The transitional period is referred to as perimenopause and can last as long as four years.
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Irritability or mood changes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
The type and severity of your menopausal symptoms can vary significantly. Some women can sail through menopause without skipping a beat, while others may find their symptoms keep them from doing the things they enjoy. Your mother’s experience with menopause is often a good indicator of what you can expect.
Are there treatments for menopause?
You can’t stop menopause so treatment is aimed at relieving your symptoms. The women’s health experts at Orange Coast OBGYN determine the best method of treatment for your menopause based on your symptoms, current health, and medical history.
To ease many of the symptoms caused by menopause, Dr. Moore and Dr. Conner may recommend hormone replacement therapy. The office takes a progressive approach to women’s health and uses bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which is a more natural form of hormone treatment that offers symptom relief without the side effects often experienced with synthetic hormones.
In addition to managing your menopausal symptoms, your specialist may recommend diet and lifestyle changes to improve heart and bone health. These changes may also help you with your weight struggles.
Menopause is a natural part of your life, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Orange Coast OBGYN provides expert care and management of menopause aimed at improving your health and helping you get back to the things you enjoy. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.