The symptoms preceding menopause run the gamut, from hot flashes to hair loss to vaginal dryness. But every woman is different! Some women struggle with the symptoms of this hormonal shift, while others have little difficulty managing symptoms. Know the signs that you’re starting menopause so you can address the symptoms with proactive treatment. By treating menopause symptoms, you can minimize the difficulties associated with menopause. Treatment for menopause can make a huge improvement in everyday life, intimate relations, and your relationships.
Menopause is officially complete when you haven’t had a period in 12 months. Perimenopause is the time before menopause that can last four to eight years. While most women experience menopause in their 50s, perimenopause symptoms can start as young as 40-45 years old. A few women experience menopause at younger ages, and a few women continue to menstruate until age 60. The average age of this natural process is 51.
Signs Menopause is Starting
Some of the signs that menopause is starting include irregular periods, sleep problems, weight gain, hair loss, loss of libido, and depression, anxiety, and forgetfulness. The infamous hot flashes usually occur later in perimenopause, so if you are having those feelings of being too hot or even too cold with no explanation, that may be related to the onset of menopause. Feeling stressed, foggy, depressed, and anxious can also accompany the decrease in estrogen. Read more about menopause and depression.
Treatment for Menopause Symptoms
The important thing to know about menopause symptoms is that they are treatable. We encourage anyone who is experiencing persistent symptoms to make an appointment. Our staff is female and understands the wide range of symptoms women can experience during perimenopause. We can explore treatment options that are right for you, such as hormonal replacement therapy and lifestyle changes.
One of the treatable symptoms is vaginal dryness. During menopause, the vaginal walls can become thin, dry, and tender. Some women experience severe vaginal dryness that makes intercourse painful. This can now be treated with MonaLisa Touch Treatment as well as lubricants and creams. MonaLisa Touch is a painless vaginal rejuvenation procedure that we provide in our offices. If vaginal atrophy is present, several 5-minute treatments with a pain-free laser can help restore vaginal tissue, which can help make your sex life more comfortable again.
Hormone replacement therapy can also help with symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disruption, and mood. This can be especially helpful if the menopause is related to induced menopause, such as the removal of the ovaries. Menopause at a young age or due to surgery should be evaluated by an OBGYN for treatment options because the patient is losing the protective effects of estrogen. They can be at greater risk of osteoporosis, and hormonal treatments can restore the positive effects of estrogen. If menopause is affecting your sleep, sex life, or mood, reach out to West Des Moines OBGYN Associates, P.C. With offices in Ankeny, West Des Moines, and Indianola, Iowa, we provide healthcare for women, by women. Schedule an appointment today.