Perimenopause and Menopause Management
The medical professionals at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Children are dedicated to caring for your healthcare needs at all stages of life. Our doctors are trained in providing the most advanced care for women experiencing perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.
Menopause occurs when a woman is no longer fertile, marked by the end of menstruation. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen. It is a natural transition that normally occurs between the ages 42 and 60, with the average menopause age being 52.
Signs of Menopause
Symptoms of menopause range from being barely noticeable to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings, gradual weight gain, changes in breast tissue, and reduced sex drive. Other menopause symptoms can include migraines, heart palpitations, poor concentration, thinning hair and dry skin. Early menopause occurs when a woman experiences these symptoms before the age of 40.
Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause, usually occurring in a woman’s mid-40s. Perimenopausal symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, breakthrough bleeding and other signs that reproductive hormones are shifting. Once a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, she has reached menopause.
Health Effects of Menopause
The loss of estrogen from menopause is associated with various health conditions that become more common as women age. After menopause, women are more likely to develop:
- Heart disease
- A poorly working bladder and bowel
- Greater risk of Alzheimer's disease
- Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling)
- Poor muscle power and tone
- Vaginal dryness
Diagnosis and Treatment
Typically, tests are not needed to diagnose menopause. But under certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your hormone levels and rule out thyroid problems.A number of treatments can help lower the risks associated with these conditions. These include:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Non-hormonal medication options to treat hot flashes
- Vaginal estrogen
- Medications and/or supplementation to prevent or treat osteoporosis
Your doctor may also recommend healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and nutrition to lower your risk of health problems following menopause. The experienced gynecologists at Winnie Palmer Hospital are here to support you through menopause and beyond.