Posts for tag: Menopause
Menopause is a natural event that will occur in all women at some point as they age. Menopause occurs when menstruation stops and fertility ends. Once a woman has missed her period for one year she is considered menopausal. While the age at which a woman reaches menopause varies, it’s common for this transitional period to occur between the ages of 45 and 55.
For some women, menopause causes little to no symptoms; however, other women may experience:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Decreased libido
Some of these symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats will go away after menopause. To reduce the frequency and severity of their symptoms, it’s important that menopausal women maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When should I see my gynecologist?
No matter your age, you should visit your gynecologist for routine checkups ever year. During these visits it’s important that you ask any questions or address any concerns you might have regarding your health. Your OBGYN is able to address everything from birth control options and fertility treatments to hormone replacement therapy.
The type of symptoms you are experiencing as well as their severity will determine whether it’s worth visiting your gynecologist or your general practitioner to rule out other conditions that could be responsible for these symptoms. As we mentioned earlier, some women go through menopause and don’t experience any issues; however, women who are struggling to get their symptoms under control should talk to their gynecologist.
If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause but you’re under 40 years old you should also schedule a doctor’s appointment to determine what’s causing your symptoms. Hormonal issues and imbalances could be to blame and they should be treated as soon as possible.
What can be done to ease symptoms of menopause?
Once a woman reaches perimenopause (the stage right before menopause) she may start to notice a heavier or irregular menstrual cycle. Sometimes your gynecologist may prescribe birth control pills at this time to treat these issues. Birth control may also alleviate vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
Hormone therapy is the standard treatment when it comes to managing menopause symptoms. For example, estrogen therapy has been know to treat hot flashes and vaginal dryness and can be administered as a cream, patch, or pill.
During menopause your gynecologist may also recommend getting a blood test to check your hormone levels. Hormone therapy isn’t right for every woman. Women who have a high cholesterol, gallbladder, or liver disease, a history of blood clots or breast cancer shouldn’t undergo hormone therapy. In this case, non-hormonal treatment options such as prescription medications like gabapentin may be able to treat mood swings, night sweats and other common symptoms of menopause.
If you are experiencing menopause symptoms it’s important to consult your gynecologist. When you come into our office we can help you determine the best methods for getting your symptoms under control. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
If you are currently experiencing menopause, you may not be enjoying how your body is changing. Hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain are just some of the symptoms that can plague you, leaving you wanting a treatment that works. At Williams OB/GYN & Associates in San Dimas, CA, Dr. Richard Anthony Williams and his team help numerous patients just like you navigate the sometimes uncertain waters of menopause. Read on to learn more!
What is menopause?
The National Institute on Aging says that a woman has gone through menopause when she has not menstruated for a full year. Follicle stimulating hormones, Luteinizing hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all diminish as the ovaries get older. Hence, a woman is infertile and experiences bodily changes and symptoms which vary in intensity, from mild to severe to even debilitating.
These symptoms often start in the mid-forties and peak in the early fifties when ovulation and menstruation cease. For some women, many symptoms, such as hot flashes, are bothersome into their elder years. Dr. Williams encourages his patients to come to the OB/GYN office in San Dimas to discuss symptoms, undergo a complete gynecological examination, and determine a course of treatment.
Symptoms of menopause may include:
- Sudden feelings of heat and sweating known as hot flashes
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Lowered libido
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Problems sleeping
- Memory and concentration difficulties
Treating menopausal symptoms
Dr. Williams believes that his patients should seek help dealing with their symptoms, particularly if they seriously impact day to day life, interpersonal relationships, and the ability to function at home and on the job.
Treatment plans are individualized; there are no cookie-cutter care plans because each woman experiences menopause in her own unique way. Many women respond well to conservative treatments, while others require pharmacological interventions in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While HRT can cause concerning side effects in some women (blood clots, for instance), short term usage under your doctor's supervision can prove safe and effective.
Other treatments include:
- Low carb/sugar diet
- Daily exercise
- Loose clothing
- Cooler bedroom temperature while sleeping
- Supplements such as black cohash and red clover
Find out more
Don't think you have to go through menopause alone. Your friends at Williams OB/GYN can make the transition manageable. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Williams, and start to feel normal again. Our San Dimas office is open Monday through Friday beginning at 9 am. Phone (909) 599-8677 today!
Usually around the time that women reach their late 40s or early 50s, they may notice changes occurring in their body. This is because the reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are no longer being produced within the body. This transitional phase is known as menopause and while some women may go through menopause without any symptoms or issues, some women deal with a variety of unpleasant and even severe symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain.
While hot flashes are the most common complaint when it comes to menopause symptoms, there are a variety of issues that women can experience including:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Vaginal infections
- Loss of sex drive
- Sexual pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary incontinence or leakage
- Night sweats
- Poor concentration and memory (“mental fog”)
If you are a middle-aged woman who hasn’t had a period in over one year and is dealing with these issues, you could be facing menopause. Of course, it’s important that you have an OBGYN that you can turn to if symptoms become too challenging to handle on your own. While a gynecologist can certainly recommend a variety of lifestyle modifications and simple ways to alleviate symptoms, sometimes more aggressive treatment is necessary.
Certain lifestyle modifications may include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep each night or avoiding alcohol to help with depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Your gynecologist can prescribe a lubricant to help with vaginal dryness and discomfort. Physical therapy or certain medical treatments may be prescribed to improve the function of the pelvic floor to reduce urinary leakage and incontinence.
Many menopausal women dealing with menopausal symptoms can experience relief through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Since the body is no longer producing estrogen and progesterone, HRT will serve to restore those hormones back into the body to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes. Furthermore, HRT has been shown to reduce bone loss caused by osteoporosis, which is common in women post-menopause. Plus, HRT is also known to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness and pain.
There are a few different ways in which HRT can be administered. Estrogen can come in the form of a gel, cream, spray, patch, or pill. Of course, systemic estrogen has been proven to be the most effective way to target symptoms of menopause.
Women dealing with severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms, women who are prone to osteoporosis or fractures, and women who experience menopause before the age of 40 may want to consider getting hormone replacement therapy.
Getting older means overcoming many different obstacles as your life and your body change. But you must deal with one that is uniquely female: menopause and the symptoms that come with it. You know the symptoms commonly associated with menopause—hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness—but did you know that they are treatable and that menopause doesn’t have to be insurmountable?
If you have moderate to severe symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for hot flashes and can also help elevate vaginal dryness and mood issues. It has traditionally been administered with pills like birth control, but also like birth control it can now be taken through patches, creams, gels, and vaginal rings. If you have not had a hysterectomy, you could be prescribed estrogen and progesterone, called combination HRT. If you have had a hysterectomy, estrogen alone would be prescribed.
Not all women are candidates for HRT. Those who have breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, heart or liver disease, or have had a stroke would be better candidates for the following options.
Vaginal estrogen is a lower dose of estrogen that comes as a cream, tablet, or ring and is placed in the vagina to treat vaginal dryness if you don’t have hot flashes. Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are non-prescription options to treat dryness as well. Lubricants can help decrease friction and ease intercourse, but be sure to only use water-soluble products designed for the vagina to avoid irritating tender tissue. Moisturizers can improve or maintain vaginal moisture if you have mild vaginal atrophy and can also keep your pH level low, ensuring a healthy vaginal environment. They can also be used regularly with longer-lasting effects than lubricants.
Prescription antidepressant medications are often used to treat mood problems, like depression, with relatively few side effects. They have also been used to treat hot flashes. However, if you are having mood issues, be sure to talk with your doctor to identify the cause and decide on the best treatment.
You’d be surprised how far simple lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising, can go in minimizing menopause symptoms. Wearing light-weight pajamas, using layered bedding that can easily be removed, and using a fan in your bedroom can help with night sweats while keeping a regular sleep schedule and nighttime routine can make falling asleep and staying asleep easier.
The onset of menopause is a big change, and dealing with its symptoms can be daunting. But you don’t have to take on this new phase in your life alone. No matter if you are suffering severe symptoms or you just have some questions of what to expect as you get older, our office is here to help. Call to schedule your appointment today.
This transitional period of your life doesn’t have to be challenging. We can help.
All women will go through menopause at some point during their lifetime, usually starting around their late 40s or early 50s. Menopause occurs when a woman stops having a period, and it can cause changes in the amount of estrogen and progesterone your body produces. As you may already know, these fluctuating hormone levels can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, trouble sleeping, night sweats and even weight gain. Our San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN Dr. Richard Williams is here to provide you with the many ways to help alleviate your symptoms to make menopause an easier and smoother transition for you.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
One of the most popular options for helping balance hormone levels in menopausal women is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Along with reduced progesterone and estrogen levels comes an increased risk of osteoporosis (a condition that is characterized by a loss of bone density).
Whether osteoporosis runs in your family or you are experiencing severe symptoms on a regular basis, these are reasons why you may want to talk to our San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN about HRT.
HRT comes in many forms, from pills and creams to patches and intravaginal rings. We can sit down and discuss the different options available to you to help you decide which one might be the best one to meet your needs.
Managing Your Symptoms Day-to-Day
Of course, a lot of women are looking for simple everyday things they can do to help ease and even reduce their symptoms. While HRT can be an invaluable treatment option for managing symptoms there are other conservative ways that might be able to help. For example, if you find yourself dealing with mood swings or anxiety you may want to consider an activity such as yoga, which can boost your mood and also help you relax. If you are feeling depressed you may want to consider cognitive-behavioral therapy to talk about what you’re going through. Having a strong support system is key.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also go a long way to improving your mood and reducing the severity of your symptoms. Make sure you are getting the proper nutrients you need through a healthy diet. If you are lacking certain vitamins talk to us about different supplements you should be taking. Along with a healthy diet make sure you are also taking time to exercise regularly. Resistance and strength training can go a long way to improving and strengthening how the body functions.
We know you will have questions about menopause and your changing body along the way. Let the experts at Williams Ob/Gyn & Associates in San Dimas, CA, provide you with the individualized and compassionate care you deserve. Call us today!