Gynecology Specialists of Philadelphia
Menopause is a regular part of life for every woman, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer unbearable symptoms. Sonya Lee, MD, and the professional staff of women’s health experts at Gynecology Specialists of Philadelphia, guide women through this phase of life, treating menopause symptoms as necessary. If you have questions about managing menopause, call Gynecology Specialists or book an appointment online today.
Menopause Q & A
What is menopause?
Menopause is the natural ending of your menstrual cycles that happens with age. As your body’s supply of eggs decreases, you begin to ovulate less frequently.
This biological process can involve several years of hormone fluctuations as your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. These hormone changes can cause a host of symptoms that may be difficult to manage.
Once you haven’t had a menstrual period for an entire year, you’ve officially reached menopause. This can happen in your 40s or 50s, but 51 is the average age for menopause in American women.
What are symptoms of menopause?
The transition through menopause may last anywhere from several months to years. In the time leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you may experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- Memory or cognitive problems
- Night sweats
- Hair loss
- Heart palpitations
Some women experience mild menopause symptoms, while others can suffer extreme problems that interfere with work and sleep.
How can I tell if I’m going through menopause?
There’s no test to diagnose perimenopause or menopause. Instead, the team of doctors and certified physician assistants at Gynecology Specialists determine if this is the case based on your symptoms and irregular periods.
Even if your menopause symptoms are mild, it’s important to continue annual women’s wellness exams. After menopause, your risks for heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis increases. The team at Gynecology Specialists can monitor your overall health and recommend preventive screening tests as needed.
How do gynecologists treat menopause?
Menopause is a normal biological process. You shouldn’t need treatment unless severe symptoms are interfering with your life. If your menopause symptoms are unbearable, the team at Gynecology Specialists may suggest a treatment plan that involves one or more of the following strategies:
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Reducing caffeine and alcohol
- Managing stress with effective techniques
- Quitting smoking
- Yoga and breathing exercises
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to relieve your menopause symptoms, the doctors may recommend medicines, such as:
- Low-dose birth control pills during perimenopause
- Low-dose hormone therapy after menopause
- Hormone alternatives
If you think you may be going through menopause and have questions, call Gynecology Specialists or book an appointment online today.