Posts for category: OBGYN
Traditionally, people have called menopause "the change," a rather fitting title given that this stage ushers in a dramatic shift in estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as a cessation of menstrual periods. Here at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, your four physicians and their team provide the care and support you need to navigate menopause in a healthy fashion.
The symptoms of menopause
Menopausal symptoms may begin as early as the late thirties, states The North American Menopause Society. Typically, this period is called peri-menopause, and as years advance (with 51 being average for true menopause), ovarian activity and the release of female hormones drastically diminish. When the ovaries release their last egg, menstruation ceases sometime afterward. When a woman has not had a menstrual period for a full year, she is considered post-menopausal.
In effect, menopause is a lengthy process of many kinds of changes, often accompanied by disconcerting symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Genital dryness (and sometimes painful sex) because of atrophy of the vagina
- Mood swings
- Inability to fall asleep, insomnia, and other sleep disturbances
- Weight gain, especially at the waistline
- Varying degrees of urinary incontinence
- Thinning bones (osteoporosis)
- Hair loss
Getting through the change
At Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, your professional team provides the counseling and treatment you need to navigate menopause. Depending on your symptoms and personal preferences, your care plan may include:
- Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT (not appropriate for breast cancer patients)
- Antidepressants, such as Effexor
- Vitamins, such as B6 and E supplements
- Herbal supplements, such as St. John's Wart for depression and Black Cohosh for hot flashes
- Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers
- Kegal exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Relaxation techniques
- Adequate hydration and heart-healthy nutrition
- Avoiding foods which precipitate hot flashes and insomnia (spicy foods as an example)
- Exercising every day
- Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, particularly at bedtime
You can take charge of menopause
Know the facts about this important life change. Call your friends at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates for the menopause treatment and counseling you need: (847) 884-1800.
Menopause is the end of the menstrual and fertility cycle in women. It can either occur naturally or as a result of surgical intervention that requires the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This usually as a treatment for cancer or other health conditions like infections or cysts. The ovaries regulate the hormones that control the menstrual cycle and fertility. Once the menstrual cycle permanently ends, either naturally or through the surgical removal of the ovaries, a woman is in menopause. The process varies form woman to woman and begins on average from the mid to late 40s to early 50s. As the production of eggs and hormones begins to decline, many women experience physical changes and symptoms that range in severity and intensity.
In addition to physical symptoms and changes, many women experience emotional and psychological symptoms related to the transition away from the child bearing phase. An OBGYN can help navigate the process and recommend treatment when necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
Like the menstrual cycle itself, menopause affects every woman differently. Some may experience only mild symptoms and require minimal to no treatment. Others may experience drastic fluctuations in everything from body temperature to moods, and require medication and specialized treatment plans from an OBGYN to help manage symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- Vaginal dryness and pain during sex
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Irregular/infrequent periods
- Skin problems and hair loss
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings and irritability
- Loss of sex drive
Treatment for Menopause
Depending on the range and severity of symptoms, as well as the woman's overall health, an OBGYN may recommend hormone replacement therapy and medication. Many women benefit from lifestyle modifications like dietary supplements and changes to a more balanced and clean diet. Managing anxiety, depression and stress with exercises like yoga and meditation can help regulate moods, as well as provide an opportunity to engage in social activities in a supportive environment. Although fertility declines and eventually ends with menopause, women can still enjoy an active, fulfilling sex life both during and long after menopause.