You don’t have to suffer in silence from the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. The experienced doctors at Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA in Beaumont, Texas are here with treatment options to ease your insomnia, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.
Menopause Q & A
A woman begins menopause when she hasn’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. During your reproductive years before menopause, your ovary produces an egg each month. The ovary also makes progesterone and estrogen when the fertile egg is made.
In the years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, your ovaries begin creating less progesterone and estrogen; egg production ceases; your periods happen less frequently and eventually stop. All that can occur gradually over several years or take place suddenly.
Women usually experience menopause between their 40s and 50s. On average, however, it happens at 51. Menopause is a normal part of the natural aging process. However, it can also happen if both of your ovaries are removed to treat cancerous or benign conditions.
You can no longer become pregnant following menopause.
The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can vary in occurrence and severity; some women have severe symptoms for years while others have none at all.
The first change you may notice relate to your period’s flow and frequency. Other symptoms include:
- Mood swings, including depression, irritability, and anxiety
- Skin flushing and hot flashes or night sweats
- Joint aches and pains
- Urinary leakage or incontinence
- Pounding, irregular, or racing heartbeat
- Painful sexual intercourse due to vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido or less response to sexual stimulation
Blood tests are used by your doctor to determine if you’re close to entering menopause. These blood tests look for changes in your hormone levels. Additional tests your doctor may recommend include:
- Bone density tests looking for bone loss from osteoporosis
- Thyroid and other pituitary hormone tests, if you’re younger than 45
- Follicle-stimulating hormone
- Pelvic exam to evaluate changes in the vaginal lining
Depending on your medical exam and blood tests, your doctor may recommend medications, diet and lifestyle changes, or hormone therapy to improve your overall health and relieve your symptoms.
Several health conditions, including heart disease and osteoporosis, are associated with the loss of estrogen. By getting regular health exams and working with your doctor, you can take steps to reducing your long-term risks by:
- Taking vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Managing your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Stopping smoking
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet
Take control your menopause symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online with Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA, today.