Not too long ago, menopause was referred to as the “Change of Life,” and it’s no wonder! If you are in menopause, you know how life-changing it can be. As a leading OB/GYN in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. David L. Greenspan helps women manage their menopause symptoms by providing an array of care and treatment options that reduce symptoms as well as the risks of serious diseases. Contact David L. Greenspan, MD, for your appointment today.
Menopause is the complete cessation of a woman’s periods. It occurs when the natural production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone declines as part of the natural aging process. Most women notice the initial symptoms of this change in their early to mid 40s, with the average age of menopause being 51.
A woman is said to be in menopause after 12 consecutive months without a period. The time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, although the term “menopause” is typically used to encompass the entire time, from the moment a woman begins noticing symptoms until her periods stop completely.
Menopause can bring with it many unpleasant symptoms. Most women won’t experience every symptom, and symptoms can also vary in their severity. The most common symptoms include:
Many women also notice an increase in the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) they experience, and once in menopause, your risks for heart disease and osteoporosis also are higher.
Menorrhagia is a condition that occurs in the months and years leading up to menopause and causes very heavy periods.
Women who have menorrhagia typically need to use both pads and tampons or multiple pads to provide adequate protection from blood leakage, and they need to change their protection very frequently, even waking during the night to change their pads.
Menorrhagia can be treated with a minimally-invasive procedure called endometrial ablation. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also may help in some cases.
There’s no “cure” for menopause, but you can reduce and relieve symptoms with lifestyle changes like losing excess weight and being more physically active, as well as getting treatments designed to relieve specific symptoms, like vaginal dryness or sleep issues.
Many women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to replace the hormones their bodies Dr. Greenspan offers a variety of bioidentical hormone replacement regimens and non hormonal regimens for menopausal symptoms.
Until you’re “officially” in menopause — that is, you haven’t had a period in 12 consecutive months — you can still become pregnant, and you should continue to use your birth control method.