Menopause is one of the many physiological changes you’ll experience throughout your life. Like menstruation and pregnancy, menopause comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.
At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, we provide expert care for women throughout every stage of their life, including menopause. Here, we tell you about menopause and how making a few adjustments can help you handle the challenges it brings.
Menopause is when you naturally stop having your period. You officially reach menopause after 12 months in a row without having your period. This happens because your ovaries no longer produce estrogen, the hormone that runs your menstrual cycle.
After a year without having your period, you enter the postmenopause stage. At this time of your life, you're more vulnerable to developing health problems like heart disease and osteoporosis because of the loss of estrogen.
While menopause has a definite start date, it’s not something that happens all at once. The menopause years start in your 30s and 40s, which is when estrogen levels start to fluctuate, affecting the regularity of your menstrual cycle. This transitional time is called perimenopause.
Challenges of menopause
The hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause cause many of the symptoms you associate with menopause. These are the challenges you may face during the menopause years that you may need to adjust to. Symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
- Unexpected weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort
- Urinary incontinence
- Pain during sex
- Low libido
No woman’s menopause experience is like another. Some women have mild symptoms they barely notice. On the other hand, you may have such severe symptoms that you can barely function some days.
No matter where you are on the scale of symptoms, menopause isn’t something to ignore and it requires some adjustments.
Adjusting to life with menopause
Menopause symptoms are disruptive to many women, but there’s no need to suffer through. We have many treatment options that can ease your symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT), low-dose antidepressants, and gabapentin (nonhormonal treatment for hot flashes).
But because the hormonal changes that come with menopause increase your risk of health conditions, you do need to make adjustments to your lifestyle to improve overall health. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and finding healthy ways to manage stress.
Healthy habits go a long way in helping your body through menopause and beyond, and it’s never too late or too early to start eating better and moving more.
Menopause has its challenges, but with the right support, you can make it through and continue to do all of the things you love. Our menopause specialists can provide the education, guidance, and treatments you need. Call the office convenient to you, or request an appointment online today.