SERVICES & PROCEDURES
Menopause is a natural biological process in which periods stop, marking the end of a woman’s fertility. The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years. Although many women fear the onset of menopause, the right medical care can make this stage more comfortable and improve your quality of life.
MENOPAUSE: WHAT TO EXPECT
The medical definition of having reached menopause is a lack of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause, where the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries begins to fluctuate.
During the perimenopausal years many women begin to experience symptoms like:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats (hot flashes that occur at night)
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Changes in menstruation, including lighter or heavier bleeding, or missed periods
If indicated, you may be offered hormone therapy to alleviate some of your symptoms. If hormone therapy seems right for you, we will discuss the risks and benefits with you.
There are also a range of non-hormonal treatments available that can ease the symptoms of menopause. These may include prescription medications, or relaxation techniques to treat hot flashes or mood swings. Lubricants can help soothe vaginal dryness, and make sexual intercourse more comfortable.
Some women are more prone to developing osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle. Bone loss increases in the first 4 years after menopause. Osteoporosis increases a woman’s risk for fracture of a bone.
We may recommend a bone density test, and advice on bone-strengthening drugs or calcium supplements to prevent future bone loss. In addition, we may recommend suitable weight-bearing exercises to keep your bones strong.
PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS (URINARY INCONTINENCE OR PROLAPSE)
Some women may experience pelvic floor disorders – such as urinary incontinence or bladder prolapse – as they get older. These problems occur in many women, but are treatable.
Speak to us if you’re leaking urine during the day, or having discomfort with prolapse. Treatment options are available, and medical care can help improve your quality of life. In most cases, we will recommend exercises, medication, pessaries or surgery if indicated.
REGULAR SCREENINGS FOR BREAST & REPRODUCTIVE CANCERS
During and after menopause, we recommend regular annual screening to check for breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. We’ll also continue to monitor vulvar disorders.
The perimenopause and menopause years should not cause worry or stress. Our goal is to help our patients continue to live fulfilling, active, and healthy lives during this time.
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