Though it’s a normal part of life for women, the symptoms of menopause can sometimes feel anything but normal. Some women see few effects in the post-reproductive years while others may have wide-ranging symptoms. Combinations and intensities make every woman’s menopause experience virtually unique, and so it follows that treatment will be similarly individual.
Menopause officially starts 12 months after your last menstrual period, though you may experience symptoms and changes in the time leading up to this, a condition called perimenopause, which can last for months or even years before your final period. Managing symptoms through perimenopause and menopause can take some trial and error, but successful treatments are possible for most women.
How menopause may affect you
Often, the first sign of perimenopause is period irregularity. You may miss periods, then start them again, or your menstrual cycle may shorten. This won’t be an issue once you reach full menopause, but it’s not uncommon to see other symptoms develop at this time.
Perhaps one of the most prominent symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. These may include night sweats or be mixed with chills. Your sleep may also be disrupted, which can contribute to mood swings, another common menopause symptom.
Physical changes can include vaginal dryness, thinning hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness. Your metabolism may slow, and you may gain weight because of it.
Treating menopause symptoms
No matter which menopause symptoms you display or how severe they are, when they start to affect your daily life, they’re severe enough for treatment. Most women who are healthy and recently menopausal can safely use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Hormone therapy isn’t a single treatment. There are several ways hormones can be administered, as well as other medications that may also prove effective. Oral estrogen therapy is still regarded as the best way to treat hot flashes. Typically, you’ll start at a low dose until you find a level that’s effective for you. You’re also guarded against osteoporosis, since the natural decline of estrogen after menopause can lead to bone loss.
Estrogen may also be administered topically, in the form of a cream or suppository. Smaller amounts of hormone are typically used, since they are introduced directly to the affected area. This therapy can relieve vaginal dryness and some associated urinary issues. It can also restore pain-free sex, if this has been an issue.
If you’re not able to take HRT, other medications that treat conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, or seizures may also be effective against hot flashes, even if you don’t suffer from the conditions of primary use. Drugs are also available to combat osteoporosis.
Perhaps the key to successful control of menopause symptoms rests with a management plan that’s custom-designed around you. Choosing treatment with Balance Hormone Center assures you’re in the care of specialists who know the pros and cons of each menopause treatment method. Request an appointment using the online tool or call the office directly to schedule your consultation today.