If you’re in your 40’s or 50’s and you’re experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, or sleep problems, it’s quite likely you’re starting to go through menopause. This means your body is going to stop experiencing menstrual cycles and it will slow down the production of hormones like estrogen. The result of reaching menopause means a lot of changes to adjust to and experiencing life in a different way.
Dealing with the changes you go through with menopause will be easier with a medical team dedicated to making your transition comfortable. Women in the Las Vegas, Nevada area dealing with menopause can depend on the quality care of Dr. Staci McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN.
Typically, women start to experience the symptoms of menopause between 45-55-years-old (with an average age of about 51). Menopause is generally broken down into three stages:
Also known as the menopause transition, this can start eight to 10 months before menopause. During this time the ovaries will slow down estrogen production, and you will start experiencing symptoms. Things like irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills, a slower metabolism, thinning hair, and drying skin are common during this stage.
This is the point where you are no longer having periods, and your ovaries have stopped producing most of the estrogen it was previously. You are not diagnosed with menopause until after you’ve stopped experiencing periods for a full year.
This is your whole life after menopause is diagnosed. You still experience some symptoms for years afterward, but symptoms like hot flashes are likely to reduce with frequency. This is also where the body will change due to the lack of hormones it’s now receiving.
The lack of estrogen in your body at this stage means your bones will become thinner (osteoporosis), cardiovascular conditions become a higher risk, and you may experience hormonal changes like facial hair growth. Emotional changes due to the change in the number of hormones can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Vaginal dryness is also common, but you may only experience some of these symptoms post-menopause.
Dealing with many aspects of postmenopausal life means living healthier and keeping regular visits to your doctor. A healthy diet focusing on extra calcium and Vitamin D will help your bones, but you should also regulate your salt and sugar intake. Regular aerobic exercise will help keep your body in shape and help strengthen bones. Also, reduce alcohol intake and if you smoke, stop.
Please visit your doctor regularly for wellness exams, cancer screening, and consultations. Medical treatments are available for specific conditions you may experience post-menopause, such as hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen, antidepressants, and supplements to prevent complications from osteoporosis.
Menopause is something every woman experiences as they get older, but you can still have a healthy and happy life. If you need help getting through this transition, make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today.