Symptom Control and Disease Prevention During Perimenopause and Menopause
As we age, it is only natural – and perfectly normal – for our bodies to undergo physical and internal changes. Women especially experience significant changes regarding the latter, primarily when it comes to entering both perimenopause and menopause. For many women, however, the symptoms of menopause can be both overwhelming and difficult to live with – and can even put you at risk for unwanted diseases and conditions. At Women First Health Center, we’re dedicated to helping you control your menopause and perimenopause symptoms, and prevent/decrease your risk for such diseases altogether.
What to Expect
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life in which her menstrual cycle has permanently stopped occurring, defined by a yearlong absence of her period. Although this typically occurs at around 50 years of age, women have reportedly experienced menopause as early as age 40. Perimenopause is simply the beginning stages of menopause, during which a woman can expect to experience early symptoms of menopause.
Symptoms of Menopause
Even though there are certainly advantages to being without a menstrual cycle, women who are entering perimenopause and menopause should expect a wide variety of symptoms – usually unpleasant ones. These include, but are not limited to, vaginal dryness, changes in mood, thinning hair, decrease in breast fullness, night sweats, frequent urination, hot flashes, irregular periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding, weight gain, weight loss and pain during intercourse.
Risk Factors and Disease Prevention
After a woman experiences menopause, she is put at an increased risk for a variety of medical conditions. Because estrogen levels decrease during menopause, a woman is more likely to get cardiovascular disease. For this reason, at Women First Health Center, we encourage patients to exercise and eat a healthy diet during this time of change. Osteoporosis is another condition to be on the lookout for, since bone density loss is common during menopause. Lastly, a woman’s risk for urinary incontinence increases, making urinary tract infections more common. In order to prevent urinary incontinence, women are advised to strengthen their pelvic muscles by performing Kegel exercises; we can also provide a topical estrogen to be placed onto the vagina, which helps relieve symptoms. In addition, we can provide preventative tests and exams to monitor specific areas of concern – these include pelvic examinations, breast exams, thyroid testing and lipid screenings.
Controlling Your Symptoms
When it comes to symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, we are more than willing to teach our patients the best self-care techniques available. Educating yourself on what triggers your hot flashes, applying a lubricant for vaginal dryness and getting a decent night’s rest are all primary examples of ways women can control their unwanted symptoms. However, if other, more serious, measures need to be taken, we will discuss accordingly to find a more efficient control method.
If you begin to experience symptoms of perimenopause, or would like to find out more about any of the aforementioned topics, feel free to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.