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While menopause is a part of life, and a natural part of a woman’s aging, suffering through common uncomfortable side effects isn’t inevitable. Menopause is a time of transition. A woman’s body is undergoing new and sometimes problematic physical changes. This phase of life should prompt an appointment to discuss your symptoms, your options, and your long-term health goals.

Menopause Q & A

Menopausal symptoms and consequences can include:

  • Irregular periods

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Mood fluctuations

  • Decreased vaginal lubrication leading to painful sex

  • Diminished libido

  • Slower metabolism leading to weight gain,

  • Skin changes leading to wrinkling and laxity

  • More rapid bone loss leading to osteoporosis

  • Vascular degeneration increasing the risks of cardiovascular disease and dementia.

In the United States, the average age of menopause is typically around the age of 51.  The most common time of menopause is about ages 45-55, and some will see their periods even younger or older. Roughly 1% of women will experience a naturally occurring premature menopause, often a result of a genetic of autoimmune disorder. This is called primary ovarian insufficiency, or premature ovarian failure.

The symptoms of menopause may precede loss of your periods and can last for months to years thereafter.

What Causes Menopause?

Normally, menopause is a natural part of aging. Hormone production begins to decrease when women are in their 40’s, and less estrogen and progesterone are available. These changes impact fertility and can also lead to common and uncomfortable side effects.

Surgical menopause occurs when both ovaries are removed, which sometimes accompanies a hysterectomy. With loss of the ovaries, estrogen and progesterone hormone production is abruptly halted. Various medications can also interfere with menstrual cycles and hormone production, including chemotherapy and corticosteroids.

A Holistic Treatment Approach to Menopausal Symptoms

This is a time for a personalized assessment of your particular menopausal risk factors. Together, we will review your personal health history, your family history, any symptoms that you find troublesome, and openly discuss your goals.

Treatment for Menopausal Symptoms

I take the time to review every menopausal treatment option, including:

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Stress management

  • Sleep

  • Hormone replacement therapy

  • Bio-identical hormones

  • Nutritional supplements

  • ThermiVa vaginal rejuvenation

Based on your personal and family health history, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy. Formulations and modes of administration are customized and may include: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA) and others.

A Holistic Gynecologist and Holistic Approach to Menopause

There is no plan for menopause that is universally appropriate or effective. My goal is to help you find the best options that work for you, including natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and hormone therapies. Our goal is to make you feel more comfortable and to diminish long-term health risks.

Menopause is also an opportunity for self-reflection. Many women are coming to terms with the end of menstrual cycles, which often means the end of child-bearing options. Children are leaving home and couples must become reacquainted as new empty-nesters. This is a time to reevaluate goals, plans, and relationships. I take the time to discuss these issues and offer support and guidance.

Menopausal concerns must be individually addressed in a thoughtful and comprehensive way. I welcome the opportunity to help ease this transition, approaching each woman’s concerns with respect and dignity.

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