If you’re spending your days and nights feeling more like a furnace than a human, you may be experiencing one of the most common symptoms of menopause. While some women are lucky enough to sail through this transition with ease, many of them fight various symptoms that can severely impact their lives. At Capital Women’s Care in Rockville and Silver Spring, Maryland, the expert group of gynecologists has several tools to help women navigate menopause more comfortably. To get help with your menopause, call or book an appointment online.
Three different reproductive stages mark your journey through womanhood: non-reproductive, reproductive, and post-reproductive. These three phases further divide into two critical transitional periods: when your body’s reproductive system first starts (puberty) and then winds down (menopause).
Women typically start to begin their transition through menopause in their late 40s. During this time, your estrogen levels wane, and you produce fewer eggs. This period, which is also called perimenopause, is also marked by increasingly irregular periods.
Your transition hits its full stride when your estrogen drops to a level where you no longer produce any eggs. Once you haven’t had your period for 12 months in a row, you’ve officially passed through menopause. The average age when this happens is 52.
The symptoms of menopause -- and their severity and duration -- vary considerably from one woman to the next. Some women pass through menopause very quickly with very few side effects. Other women experience years of severe symptoms that have a significant impact on their quality of life. Most women fall somewhere in between.
While symptoms may vary depending on each woman’s reaction to the drop in estrogen, the primary hallmarks of menopause are:
Since there’s no cure for menopause, the gynecologists at Capital Women’s Care work to manage your symptoms and lessen their impact. To do so, they may treat the symptoms individually or as a whole.
If your symptoms are moderate to severe, your gynecologist may recommend replacement hormone therapies that regulate your hormone levels. These therapies may be in the form of spot treatments, such as vaginal estrogen creams.
If you prefer a non-hormonal approach, your doctor works with you on lifestyle and diet changes that can make a big difference. Also, relaxation techniques and yoga have proven to relieve menopause symptoms.
If you’re experiencing severe vaginal atrophy or incontinence, your gynecologist may explore minimally-invasive procedures and devices (pessaries) that can help.
Each woman experiences menopause differently, which is why the gynecologists at Capital Women’s Care tailor their treatment plans to fit you best. To learn more, call or schedule an appointment online.