There are many common health concerns surrounding this time in your life. You don’t have to go through this new chapter in your health journey alone. We are here to help you understand menopause and how to treat each of your concerns.
When do Women Start Needing Menopause Treatments?
Some women may begin to experience symptoms of menopause prior to their periods ending. This period of life is called “perimenopause” and although hormone testing can be performed, it is usually diagnosed by reviewing your symptoms. Women with periods are considered menopausal when they have stopped having periods for 12 months. Although it may be normal to have irregularities in the menstrual cycle prior to this time, it is important to discuss these changes with your provider, as this could also be a sign of precancer or cancer of the uterus. Women who experience severe symptoms of menopause such as inability to sleep or hot flashes that disrupt their daily activity should have a discussion with their provider to see if hormone replacement is a safe option for them. Most women begin to gradually experience menopause symptoms and need menopause treatments between the ages of 40 and 55. Menopause lasts an average of four years for most women. Once finished, a woman is considered postmenopausal.
Addressing Symptoms During Treatment for Menopause
Just because most women go through these menopause symptoms, doesn’t mean you have to struggle through them. While they won’t go away completely until you are finished with menopause, there are treatments to ease your symptoms. These symptoms include:
Hot flashes are the most common menopause symptom and can also occur during perimenopause. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of heat that spread over the body. You might also get flushed and sweaty during a hot flash.
This symptom is triggered by lowering levels of estrogen in your body. Hot flashes might be uncomfortable, but they are usually temporary. For most women, they last an average of seven years before resolving. You can speak to your healthcare provider about the best treatment solution for you.
Due to the decline of estrogen during menopause, your vaginal tissues become thinner, drier, and more vulnerable. This can make sex uncomfortable or painful. This may feel like an uncomfortable or embarrassing topic to discuss, but don’t hesitate to bring it up with your doctor. There are a variety of treatments that can aid in treating this symptom. No matter what age, every woman deserves to have a fulfilling intimate life.
Urinary Tract and Bladder Health
Similar to your vaginal wall, the lining of your bladder becomes thinner as estrogen levels drop. This makes the tissues more easily irritated, which can increase the number of bladder infections you experience. If you begin to experience symptoms such as frequent or painful urination, it is time to speak to your provider. Most infections need to be treated with antibiotics.
The physical changes of menopause can also contribute to problems that can disrupt your bladder control. Some of these issues include:
- Decreased responsiveness of the bladder and urethra to nerves and hormones, interfering with control over the urge to urinate.
- Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. This makes it difficult to prevent urine leaks.
- Thinning in the bladder and urethra lining, leading to more frequent and urgent bathroom trips.
If you are experiencing any of these bladder issues, a urogynecologist can help you with different therapies designed to counteract the problem. Both prescription medications and pelvic floor muscle exercises can help.
Despite not getting a period for at least a year, many women experience vaginal bleeding called postmenopausal bleeding. This is a normal occurrence, but you should always talk to your provider, as this can be a sign of certain cervical and uterine cancers.
Often, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by an inflammation in the lining of the uterus or vagina. Your doctor will perform an examination and an ultrasound to confirm that this is the case. There are a few different treatments you can discuss with your doctor to determine which is the best choice for you. Your treatment options will include hormone replacement, hysteroscopy, and hysterectomy.
Contact Capital Women’s Care to Discuss Treatments for Menopause
Our women’s care providers are passionate about ensuring that all patients receive professional, empathetic care. Allow us to help you through every phase of your health journey. We are devoted to women, and 100% focused on you. Contact Capital Women’s Care today to schedule your appointment!