Menopause is a natural biological process that indicates the end of fertility and menstruation. The average age for the onset of menopause for American women is 51; however this process can take place anywhere between the ages of 40-60, and is defined as beginning one year after a woman’s last menstrual period.
While some women find relief in knowing that they no longer need to worry about getting pregnant, the physical and emotional symptoms that accompany perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) and menopause itself, can be unpleasant, and may include:
- Changes in mood
- Irregular or missed periods
- Hot flashes
- Slowing metabolism and weight gain
- Reduction in breast fullness
- Vaginal dryness, loss of libido
- Dry skin and thinning hair
Additionally, menopause can place women at a higher risk of developing certain medical conditions:
- Osteoporosis: refers to the condition of having weak, brittle bones that are highly susceptible to fracture. Within the first few years of the onset of menopause, women rapidly lose bone density, which puts them at a heightened risk of developing osteoporosis. Bone density scans can help to screen for this disease, and proper calcium supplementation can help to stave off osteoporosis.
- Cardiovascular Disease: as estrogen levels decline with age, a woman’s chances of developing heart and blood vessel disease increase—your doctor can advise you as to how best to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in order to decrease your risk of heart disease
- Urinary Incontinence: during menopause, the elasticity of the urethra and vaginal tissues decreases, and may lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence). Kegel exercises can help to ameliorate this condition by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. Menopausal women are also predisposed to developing more frequent urinary tract infections.
MENOPAUSE TREATMENT OPTIONS
In order to efficiently manage your menopause symptoms, it is important to schedule regular preventive appointments with your healthcare professional, and to stay up-to-date with recommended screenings (i.e. mammography, thyroid testing, colonoscopy, lipid screening, pelvic exams). At OBGYN on the Park, our highly regarded team of board certified Obstetricians/Gynecologists have helped countless patients navigate the transition through menopause, and will take the time to clearly and comprehensively discuss your treatment options for the optimal management of your menopause symptoms.
Treatments to address and ease the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause may include:
- Hormone therapy to supplement estrogen and progestin can help to increase bone density and relieve hot flashes
- Vaginal estrogen (administered via tablet, ring or cream) to relieve vaginal dryness
- Low-dose selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants or Gabapentin (Neurontin) may help with mood and to decrease the severity of hot flashes
- Medications to treat or prevent osteoporosis by reducing bone loss
- Lifestyle changes (i.e. relaxation techniques, regular exercise, healthy diet, quitting smoking, dressing in layers, Kegel exercises)
- Alternative treatments (i.e. plant estrogens, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, yoga, acupuncture)
Contact OBGYN on the Park
At OBGYN on the Park, we take pride in providing a superior level of patient care and clinical expertise in a compassionate and comfortable environment. Our exceptional staff members are experts in the field of Obstetrics/Gynecology and all our physician are faculty members at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a patient at OBGYN on the Park, you will experience an unparalleled level of attentiveness and responsiveness—we will always make time to thoroughly address every question and concern you might have, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your experience is a positive one.
Our multidisciplinary approach involves cooperative collaboration with your primary care physician and a network of highly esteemed specialists (when necessary) in order to create a customized treatment plan that meets your unique obstetric/gynecological concerns. We look forward to speaking with you, and to scheduling your initial appointment with one of our board certified physicians.