Menopause

Menopause Treatment

Between the ages of 45 and 55, a woman's ovaries stop producing new eggs and she is no longer able to get pregnant. At this stage of life, her body begins to produce less estrogen and as result, a gradual or sudden end to the menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is called menopause.

Symptoms of Menopause

No two women are the same, and the symptoms associated with menopause can vary in severity from person to person. In addition to a gradual reduction and loss of her period, a woman going through menopause may also experience:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Diminished libido
  • Memory lapses
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings such as irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Urine leakage
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal infections
  • Joint pain

Treating Menopause

The menopause experience can be a challenging one, but it doesn't have to be faced alone. Although menopause is considered a natural stage of life rather than a medical condition, women can still turn to their health care professionals for help in coping with symptoms of menopause.

Diagnosis

The first step in any menopause treatment is to determine whether or not the symptoms experienced are actually caused by menopause. Urine, saliva and blood tests are typically used to check for declined hormone levels associated with the onset of menopause.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy can be used to treat symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. The process involves increasing the body's estrogen levels through the use of oral medications, patches, or vaginal creams.

Perimenopause

As women hit middle age, they become infertile and no longer menstruate. This is known as menopause. Perimenopause refers to the time before menopause begins – it literally translates to “around menopause.” Due to fluctuating hormones, perimenopause causes significant symptoms that can affect quality of life. Today, there are more treatments than ever to mitigate the side effects and symptoms of perimenopause.

Perimenopause Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom of perimenopause is the irregularity and eventual cessation of the menstrual cycle. Other common symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Insomnia
  • Bone loss
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Urinary incontinence

Perimenopause Treatment

There is no cure for perimenopause, as it is a natural part of the life cycle. However, treatments exist to reduce and mitigate its symptoms. Treatment for perimenopause can begin with a hormone level test to determine if estrogen or progesterone levels are currently imbalanced. Once hormonal imbalance has been diagnosed, there are several treatment options.

These include:

  • Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy
  • Estrogen replacement therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Lifestyle adjustments
  • Hot-flash reducing medication