Menopause refers to a woman’s final menstrual period as confirmed by a full year without menstrual periods. The discontinuation of menstruation is the result of aging ovaries, which decline in function and produce decreased levels of hormones, like estrogen. For most women, menopause occurs when they are 45-55 years old.
In some cases, a woman’s ovaries are removed or damaged before they reach menopause age, resulting in a spontaneous and immediate menopause. These women lose the benefit of gradual change and instead experience a myriad of symptoms all at once. It’s important that women work closely with their healthcare provider to predict, prevent, and manage symptoms in a way that maintains quality of life during this change.
Every woman’s experience with menopause is unique, but the most common changes experienced when hormone levels decline include:
Again, every woman’s experience with menopause is unique. However, the average length of time it takes from onset of symptoms and irregularity to the date that falls 12 months after the final period is about 4 years.
Pregnancy may still be possible after the onset of menopause-related changes. Patients trying to prevent pregnancy should continue using contraception until they have not had a period for 12 months.
In many cases, yes, since vaginal dryness and painful intercourses can be treated using simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter products. In some cases, vaginal or oral estrogen is prescribed to alleviate these problems. At PWHC you can also receive the MonaLisa Touch, a revolutionary new laser treatment for vaginal pain and dryness.
Only a doctor can determine which symptoms are menopause-related and which are age-related, and sometimes even a healthcare provider can’t make that determination until the patient has been period-free for 1 year. The best way to know if memory problems and mood changes are related to menopause is to observe whether they alleviate after menopause. In most cases, they do.
Many of the discomforts of menopause can be treated with simple lifestyle changes or medications. The compassionate healthcare providers at Pali Women’s Health Center ensure that this stage of life is as comfortable as possible for patients.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be beneficial for some patients who have severe menopausal symptoms. HRT may increase the risk of heart attack, strokes, breast cancer, and blood clots. You should carefully discuss the appropriateness of HRT with your doctor. It is also important to discuss the vast array of herbal supplements on the market, their safety, and their efficacy before you take them.
We accept most insurances. Please call the office for any questions regarding insurance!
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