A few women seem to breeze through menopause, but most spend years struggling with hot flashes and night sweats. On average, these classic symptoms last more than seven years, so don’t count on a quick journey. The doctors at North County Women’s Specialists work with women in the years before, during, and after menopause, helping them manage symptoms from mood swings to painful intercourse. To get help with menopause symptoms, call the office in Escondido, California, or book an appointment online.
Although each woman reaches menopause in her body’s own timing, the average age is 51, and most women enter menopause between the ages of 35 and 55. You’ll know you’re at menopause when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without having a menstrual period.
In the 3-5 years before menopause, a stage called perimenopause, your hormones begin to fluctuate.
These fluctuations often affect your menstrual period, but they can also trigger classic menopause symptoms. Then your symptoms can continue for years after you officially enter menopause.
When your estrogen levels drop, you may experience:
It’s estimated that nearly half of women develop vaginal atrophy after menopause. Without estrogen, vaginal tissues become thin, dry, and fragile. Additionally, blood supply is diminished, there’s less lubrication, and intercourse becomes painful. All of these changes are part of vaginal atrophy.
Estrogen fills important roles throughout your body. For example, it promotes bone metabolism and triggers collagen production in your skin. This means that after menopause your risk increases for numerous health problems, including:
The doctors at North County Women’s Specialists screen for menopause-related health concerns. They’re also experts in helping with urogynecology problems, such as urinary incontinence.
When your menopause symptoms are uncomfortable, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective way to relieve the full range of problems and prevent complications, such as osteoporosis.
HRT is safe for most women, but it’s not appropriate for everyone. Your doctor evaluates your medical history and overall health, orders blood work to determine your hormone levels, then develops a customized plan.
Your doctor at North County Women’s Specialists may prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormones have the same structure as the hormones naturally made by your body. As a result, your body responds as if the hormones came from your ovaries.
Whether you develop classic menopause symptoms or struggle with ongoing problems like vaginal dryness and incontinence, call North County Women’s Specialists or book an appointment online.