What is menopause?
Menopause is the end of the female reproductive cycle and is commonly diagnosed when a woman has not had her period for 12 months. The average age for the onset of Menopause is 51 but can also happen in as early as your late 30’s. The precise method of determining if a woman is in Menopause is to measure the amount of follicle stimulating hormone levels in the blood. Leading up to Menopause, the ovaries produce fewer hormones, which cause a variety of changes in a woman’s body. Surgical removal of the ovaries and other medical conditions and treatments can also induce Menopause.
While menopause is defined as not having a period for 12 months (basically the end of your menstrual cycles), you may, and in our experience, will very likely start to have some menopausal symptoms in your 30s and 40s. Even your labs may be "normal" but that doesn't mean that you are not having some peri-menopause. Although the average age of menopause in the United States is 51-52, the symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, irritable emotional changes, vaginal dryness, decreasing sex drive, joint pain, and lethargy (among other "weird" symptoms), may start any time before then. At BWC we don't care if you're in "full-blown menopause", we see thousands of women with different complaints that may respond to some hormonal therapies so we do what's best for you. We listen to your concerns, check lab panels and do tests to help guide therapies, and we treat you in ways that attempt to improve, and alleviate, these bothersome symptoms.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Symptoms of menopause may include some (or all) of the following:
- Changes in your cycle
- Duration and/or volume of bleeding with periods may change
- Duration between periods may change
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood swings
- Anger, many times focused toward your loved ones
- Difficulty focusing
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Skin changes
- Weight gain, especially around your tummy or "middle"
- Difficulty losing weight
Can these symptoms be managed?
Hormone therapy is a viable way to help manage symptoms and prevent bone loss. If you have concerns about taking hormones, have a frank discussion with the providers at Benezra Women's Care . We can help you weigh the pros and cons and make the right decisions for your health. You can also discuss lifestyle strategies to deal with your menopause symptoms.
What are some health concerns around menopause?
As your hormones change and you produce less estrogen, you become more susceptible to osteoporosis and heart disease. It's extremely important to be on top of your health during menopause so you can monitor and manage these conditions.