First: Is it menopause?
Before our team prescribes any treatment, it’s important to make sure the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by menopause and not some other underlying issue. Menopause occurs when you haven’t had a period for 12 months in a row. For most women, that’s sometime around age 51. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, when many symptoms begin.
During perimenopause, many women may notice their periods becoming irregular. They may occur less often, their flow may be a lot heavier, or they may have spotting between periods. These symptoms can all occur with perimenopause, but they can also be caused by other problems, like fibroids or cancer. Before any treatment begins, our team will perform a comprehensive exam and lab testing to ensure menopause is the cause.
Yes, it is: Now let’s treat it
Once we determine you’re in menopause or perimenopause, we’ll develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and improve your overall wellness, too.
Hormone replacement therapy
Most menopause symptoms are directly related to a big decline in estrogen production. Hormone replacement therapy uses bioidentical agents to supplement your natural estrogen, helping decrease or eliminate many menopause symptoms. Your dosage will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure treatment is optimized for you.
Estrogen is responsible for helping the vaginal walls stay lubricated and elastic. During menopause, that natural lubrication and elasticity decline, causing vaginal dryness and discomfort. Vaginal lubricants work by restoring that moisture to keep symptoms at bay. (Plus, lubricants can make sex a lot more comfortable, too.)
Irritability, sadness, anxiety, and sleep problems all go hand-in-hand with menopause for many women. Low doses of antidepressant medications are used to keep these symptoms manageable, so you can enjoy a better quality of life.
Medications for hot flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats are among the most common menopause symptoms, and without treatment, they can take a toll on you all day long — and even while you’re trying to get some sleep. Medications to reduce hot flashes and night sweats can be used on their own or in combination with other treatments, depending on your needs.
Some menopause symptoms can benefit from a healthier diet, a better exercise routine, or even improved sleep habits. Most menopause treatment plans include lifestyle improvements in addition to other options, like medication.
Additional health screenings
That drop in estrogen can affect you in other ways, as well, including increasing your risks of diseases like osteoporosis and heart disease. Depending on your risk factors, we might recommend health screenings for these or other medical conditions to help prevent serious problems from developing.
Don’t let menopause get you down
Let’s not sugarcoat it: Menopause symptoms can be rough. But with proper treatment and management of your symptoms, you can breeze through menopause and maintain an enjoyable quality of life. The key is to start treatment at the first sign of symptoms. To learn how we can develop a menopause treatment plan for you, call us at 404-508-2000 or book an office visit online.