Menopause is the natural result of your reproductive cycle ending. Annually, 1.3 million women enter into this time in their lives after they’ve gone a year without having a period. Once menopause is done (postmenopause), your body will have far fewer hormones to manage the many functions in the body, which will cause several changes over many years. Sleeping habits, sex drive, hair, and bone mass are just a few of the things that will change as you enter this phase of your life. It’s important to see your OB/GYN to help understand the changes and make the transition easier.
Women in the Las Vegas, Nevada area looking for help dealing with menopause have Dr. Staci McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN to navigate you through this transitional time in your life. We use our wide range of obstetric and gynecological services to individually tailor our treatments to find the solutions you need for improved health.
The process of menopause
This transition happens in three stages:
- Perimenopause: often starts in your 40’s but can start earlier, and sees your periods getting more irregular with a change in your menstrual flow
- Menopause: the lack of a menstrual cycle for a full year, where your hormone production slows down
- Postmenopause: the entire period of your life after menopause, when your body adapts to the reduced hormones and overall changes
Several factors contribute to the start of menopause including genetics and ovary health. Some women even skip perimenopause and go right into menopause. About five percent of women go into menopause between 40-45, which is referred to as early menopause.
The changes you will see
No two women will experience this transition the same way, and if your menopause starts suddenly over a shorter period of time symptoms may be more severe. Common symptoms of perimenopause include infrequent menstrual cycles, heavier or lighter periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, and a slowed metabolism.
During menopause, you can expect similar symptoms, along with anxiety, difficulty concentrating, reduced libido, sore or tender breasts, headaches, increased urination, and hair thinning. Once you enter postmenopause, your hormone balance is drastically changed because your reproductive organs produce much smaller amounts. This creates permanent changes in your body that over time increases the risk of osteoporosis (reduction of bone mass), weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and urinary incontinence.
Why seeing your OB/GYN is so important
Because so many things are happening in your body during this time and your experience will likely be unique, we will be able to help you through the changes as they happen and provide treatments to ease symptoms. Regular visits to ask open and honest questions about what’s happening will make this process much easier, and allow us to recommend options that work best for you. Common treatments for women going through menopause include hormone therapy, antidepressants, lubrications, lifestyle changes (like diet and exercise), and supplements.
This is a natural process that all women go through, and everyone experiences it in their own way. Regardless of what you’re experiencing during this time, we’re here to help. If you’re ready to let us get you through this, make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today.