On average, women in the United States reach menopause in their early 50s. Though menopause symptoms affect everyone differently, the hormonal changes that come with menopause may increase your risk of chronic health conditions. At Memorial Women’s Specialists in Houston, Texas, OB/GYN highly experienceds Mina Sinacori, MD, MPH, FACOG and M. Bruce Christopherson, MD, FACOG, take a personalized approach to care. They conduct thorough evaluations and develop individualized treatment plans to optimize your health and wellness. For compassionate care during menopause, call or book an appointment online today.

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What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural transitional period in a woman’s life that marks the end of her menstrual cycle. You officially reach menopause after you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without menstruating.

Many of the symptoms associated with menopause occur well before you stop menstruating. Around age 30, the production of estrogen and progesterone starts to slow down, which affects your fertility.

In your 40s, you may start to experience irregularities in your menstrual cycle. Your periods may be shorter or lighter. You may even skip a month or two.

During this transitional period, called perimenopause, the fluctuation in your hormone levels may cause many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

What are menopause symptoms?

Your menopause symptoms may start months or years before you officially reach menopause. The severity of your symptoms may vary. For some women, menopause symptoms disrupt their daily life.

Common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Weight gain

In addition to the physical symptoms, your declining estrogen levels increase your risk of developing chronic health conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, and incontinence.

Your regular gynecology appointments at Memorial Women’s Specialists not only help you manage your physical symptoms but may also help prevent the onset of long-term health issues.

How is menopause treated?

Memorial Women’s Specialists creates individualized treatment plans for menopause based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history. You can’t stop the biological transition, but your OB/GYN can provide care to optimize health and wellness.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Healthy diet plan
  • Exercise program
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Low-dose antidepressants
  • Gabapentin or clonidine for hot flashes
  • Medication for osteoporosis

Memorial Women’s Specialists also offers hormone replacement therapy to alleviate symptoms and improve bone health. Vaginal estrogen may be recommended to alleviate vaginal dryness and discomfort.

Hormone replacement therapy is an effective and safe treatment for many women going through menopause. Your provider may not recommend hormone replacement therapy if you have a history of heart disease, blood clots, or breast cancer.

Don’t let menopause dictate your life. Call Memorial Women’s Specialists or book an appointment online today for a comprehensive treatment plan that alleviates your symptoms.