Your hormone levels begin to fluctuate in the years before menopause. During this transitional time, called perimenopause, most women begin to experience changes in their menstrual periods. Your periods could be longer, shorter, heavier, or lighter — the changes are different for each woman. At menopause, estrogen production severely drops and your periods stop. You officially enter menopause when you haven’t had your period for 12 consecutive months. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45-58, but the average age is 52.
Each woman has a different journey through menopause. Some fly through with few or mild symptoms, while others have severe hot flashes that make it hard to get through the day.
Without enough estrogen, the vaginal lining becomes thin, dry, less elastic, and fragile. Additionally, blood supply and lubrication in the vagina decline. This condition, called vaginal atrophy, affects nearly half of all women at menopause.
Some symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, eventually go away on their own. However, if you develop vaginal atrophy, your symptoms won’t improve unless you get treatment.
Estrogen has an active role throughout your body, helping to regulate a variety of functions, from bone metabolism to brain function. As a result, your risk for certain problems increases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The doctors at Garden OB/GYN develop a customized treatment based on the severity of your symptoms. For mild symptoms, they may suggest lifestyle tips to manage the discomfort. You may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As HRT restores estrogen back to normal levels, you’ll get relief from the full range of menopause symptoms and prevent future problems like osteoporosis. You don’t need to struggle with menopause symptoms. The team at Garden OB/GYN can help. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature.