Though menopause is a natural phase of every woman’s life, the change in hormones can lead to an array of symptoms and health concerns, from hot flashes and weight gain to painful intercourse and osteoporosis. At Providence Women's Healthcare in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, Georgia, women receive comprehensive care and extensive lifestyle support during and after menopause, including nutritional counseling, weight loss management, supplements, and hormone replacement therapy. To learn more about maintaining an energetic, healthy life through menopause, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Menopause occurs when estrogen production in your ovaries takes a significant decline. As your estrogen drops to very low levels, you stop having menstrual periods and can no longer get pregnant. You’re in menopause when you don’t have a period for 12 consecutive months.
On average, menopause begins around the age of 52. However, each woman has a different experience, and you can reach menopause any time after the age of 45. Though not as common, some women enter early menopause before they reach 45.
Your hormone levels start fluctuating in the years before menopause. This stage, called perimenopause, typically affects your menstrual periods. Your periods may be longer, shorter, heavier, or lighter. During perimenopause, women’s periods often get irregular or you may skip periods.
Your symptoms may begin during perimenopause and continue for years after your periods stop. The classic symptoms of menopause — hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings — may be mild and tolerable or so severe they disrupt your day and interrupt your sleep.
The classic menopause symptoms can last for years, but they eventually go away. However, estrogen has a widespread impact on your body that causes longer-lasting symptoms.
The loss of estrogen at menopause affects many different parts of your body, including your skin, bones, and brain, and causes symptoms such as:
After menopause, you also have a high risk of developing osteoporosis.
You may be able to manage mild hot flashes and night sweats by dressing in layers (and removing items when a hot flash begins), using a portable fan, or avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, which tend to trigger hot flashes.
Providence Women’s Healthcare also operates a Wellness Center that can help you through menopause and beyond. For example, you can get nutritional counseling, weight loss management, and natural products that boost your energy.
Otherwise, hormone replacement therapy is the primary treatment for menopause. In addition to relieving hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings, hormone replacement therapy treats all the symptoms associated with menopause.
If you need help with any aspect of menopause, call Providence Women’s Healthcare or request an appointment online today.