As a natural part of aging, menopause is an unavoidable part of life. However, the symptoms can make life unpleasant as women make the transition. Frequently, menopausal women benefit greatly from menopause treatments to make the transition more comfortable.
Hormone replacement therapies are often the first line of defense in treating menopause-related symptoms.
At PryorHealth, in Rockford menopause treatment will soon be offered in the form of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to help aging women find relief from menopause symptoms. Estrogen therapy is the most effective treatment for hot flashes, which is one of the most disruptive signs of menopause a woman may experience.
BHRT for menopause relies on natural hormones from plants that are chemically identical to estrogen produced by the body. BHRT may include estrogen cream, estrogen pills, and BHRT injections for menopause.
BHRT is sought as the more natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Bioidentical hormones are composed of plants, while HRT may rely on synthetic hormones. For this reason, BHRT is growing in popularity among menopausal women.
There is no age set in stone that determines when a woman will reach menopause. Every woman is different. However, most women notice early signs of menopause such as spotty periods and hot flashes when they reach their 40s or 50s. In the United States, the average age for menopause is 51 years old.
Menopause begins with a transition period that is known as perimenopause. This typically starts several years before a woman reaches her final menstrual period. During this time, women may notice irregular periods or missed periods along with hot flashes and other perimenopause symptoms.
Perimenopause is often misconstrued as menopause; However, this early stage menopause is not true menopause. True menopause begins one year after a women’s final menstrual period. After 12 months without a monthly period, it is reasonable to conclude that a woman has fully transitioned into menopause.
After a woman reaches menopause, she then enters the post-menopause phase. Women in post-menopause may be at a heightened risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. Calcium supplements can help keep bones strong and healthy at a later age.
If you are a woman that is experiencing early menopause symptoms, then a visit to the primary care physician may be in order. Your doctor will ask questions about relevant symptoms, age, health, and family history to determine if it is indeed the menopausal transition that is occurring.
While menopause occurs in all women at some point in life, there are instances that the doctor may order blood tests to assess levels of certain hormones in the blood that can indicate menopause. Estradiol levels and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels may be checked to rule out other factors.
Menopause can take both a physical and emotional toll on women that are experiencing it. One of the most common menopause signs is the presence of hot flashes. A hot flash is a sudden, intense feeling of warmth in the upper body, commonly affecting the face, chest, and neck. Flushing and sweating may result from hot flashes, which can be rather uncomfortable in addition to the sensation of excessive heat.
Hot flashes can occur day or night, but they are notorious for disrupting sleep. Another telltale sign of menopause is irregular periods later in life. While missed periods and spotting are the norms during the onset of puberty when the menstrual cycle begins, most women find that they have mostly regular periods throughout adulthood. In a woman’s 40s or 50s, as she reaches the end of her reproductive years, missing periods may indicate menopause onset. A missed period does not always indicate perimenopause, though. A missed period can also be the result of becoming pregnant, heightened stress, certain medical conditions, or even the result of traveling. Sometimes a missed period seems to have no underlying cause.
However, increasing the frequency of missed periods after age 40 or 50 may signal the start of menopause. The presence of other symptoms at this age often confirms this. Other signs of menopause include vaginal dryness, chills, night sweats, and moodiness. Sleep disruption due to menopause symptoms can leave women feeling agitated, tired, and restless. Most women report that menopause symptoms persist for an average of four to five years with varying degrees of intensity over that time. Menopause symptoms can last for a longer period of time in some women.
If you’re looking to take years off your appearance or regain that shapely fit physique, connect with one of our patient care specialists to learn more about our full range of surgical, medspa and wellness services.
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