Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles.
It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States. If you have had your ovaries surgically removed you will begin menopause immediately.
Levels of estrogen begin to drop in the three to five years prior to menopause, which is called perimenopause. During these years your menstrual periods may become less regular and at least two-thirds of all women will begin to develop symptoms. Common symptoms include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. There may also be sleep disturbances and the combination of these symptoms can cause anxiety or depression. Menopause is a natural process with treatments that focus on symptomatic relief. In special circumstances, oral hormone therapy may be used. Make an appointment with the doctors of OBGYN Associates to discuss your symptoms and treatments.
Since each woman’s experience is unique, there isn’t one answer about whether to use hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopause symptoms – it’s a personal decision. Hormone replacement therapy is effective and safe for most women, but your doctor will talk with you about any health issues.
The loss of estrogen does more than make menstrual periods stop. It can cause changes in your body that can lead to serious or uncomfortable health problems:
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary incontinence
- Dry skin
- Heart disease
OBGYN Associates of Des Moines is here to help you maintain your best health and wellness with comprehensive menopause services. We offer urogynecology services for diagnosing and treating urinary and bowel problems. You will also receive ongoing screenings for all health-related complications due to menopause.