Menopause is the natural decline in the reproductive hormones a woman produces and marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It usually occurs around ages of 45 to 55 and is defined as no menstrual period for 12 months. Menopause is a natural process in a woman’s cycle and most women remain healthy, vital, and sexual regardless of the change. Some women can experience symptoms associated with menopause that can be disruptive for day-to-day activities.
In the months or years leading into menopause, and during menopause itself, it is common for some signs and symptoms to be prevalent. These symptoms can include:
It is common to experience irregularity in menstrual periods, such as lighter or shorter periods or skipping them altogether. Often, menstrual periods will occur every two to four months during perimenopause, especially one to two years before menopause. If any of the symptoms are persistent enough to trouble a patient, or interfere with quality of life, they should not hesitate to seek treatment.
Many effective treatments are available. When lifestyle adjustments aren’t enough to calm symptoms, medical professionals can aid in easing the symptoms. Generally, treatments will focus on relieving the signs and symptoms of menopause and preventing or managing any chronic conditions that may occur with aging. East Bay Women’s Health Center is proud to offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some of the other treatment options include topical lubricants or estrogens for vaginal dryness; medications aimed at reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes; low-dose antidepressants that may decrease menopausal hot flashes or for women who need an antidepressant for a mood disorder. Depending on individual needs, medications to prevent or treat osteoporosis can also be prescribed.