Causes & Treatments For
Menopause is a normal condition that every woman experiences at some point in her life when her ovaries stop producing estrogen.
It often occurs ABOUT 12 months after your last menstrual period and signifies the end of menstrual cycles. The average age for a woman to experience menopause is 51, however, it can begin in a woman’s 40s and 50s. Menopause that occurs before the age of 40 is considered premature menopause.
There are several natural and medically related causes for menopause including:
- Natural decline of reproductive hormones
- A result of medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Surgical menopause — Surgical menopause is a type of menopause induced by a surgical procedure such as a bilateral oophorectomy, the surgical removal of your ovaries
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Sexual discomfort
- Urine frequency
- Pain with urination
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Loss of breast fullness
- Joint and muscle aches
- Pain during intercourse
You are considered to be in menopause if you haven’t had a period for 12 months and have no other medical related reasoning for the halt of a menstrual cycle. It can be diagnosed through:
Blood test – Although menopause can be confirmed through a blood test, it is important to keep in mind that hormones fluctuate. A blood test only shows hormone levels at the particular time of the administered test
Although many women elect not to have treatment for menopause, if symptoms are bothersome there are several options that can help manage your symptoms:
Hormone therapy — Estrogen therapy is considered the most effective treatment for hot flashes specifically. Depending on your individual medical history and condition, your doctor may recommend the lowest dose to relieve your symptoms. In addition, estrogen helps prevent bone loss. The concerns of breast cancer related to using estrogen is a sensitive topic which Dr Lind will review with you in detail. While oral use of etrogens remains confusing and concerning for many patient, the local or vaginal use of estrogen can be used safely in most patients. Dr Lind is a strong advocate of complete and detailed counseling and they a mutual decision between physician AND patient regarding the use of hormones.
- Vaginal estrogen — This is used to relieve vaginal dryness and can be administered directly to the vagina using cream, a tablet or a ring. Releasing a small amount of estrogen, this treatment option can decrease dryness, discomfort with intercourse and any urinary symptoms.
- Oral estrogen
- Gabapentin — This is typically used to treat seizures, however it has been known to help reduce hot flashes.
- Low-dose antidepressants — Certain antidepressants are linked to the reduction of hot flashes. This is typically helpful for women who can’t take estrogen due to health related issues.
- Management programs — Our experts offer a menopause management program that deals with natural alternatives to medicine, in addition to osteoporosis treatment.