Arizona Women's Specialists
OBGYNs located in Phoenix, AZ & Glendale, AZ
Menopause is a natural stage of a woman’s life. However, the hormonal changes that occur before and during menopause can make this stage of life difficult to get through. You may not be able to stop menopause, but Hetal Shah, Kassandra Reil CNM and Traci Aldridge WHNP at Arizona Women's Specialists can help you get through it without skipping a beat. Schedule an appointment by calling the office in Glendale or Phoenix, Arizona, or booking online today.
What is menopause?
Menopause occurs when you no longer get your period. You officially reach menopause when you go 12 consecutive months without your period. In the United States, 52 is the average age women reach menopause.
Once you hit menopause, your ovaries produce very little estrogen and progesterone, which are the sex hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. These hormones also play a role in maintaining vaginal and bone health.
Though menopause is a natural part of a woman’s aging process, it’s important to take good care of your reproductive health in the years before and after menopause.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Many of the symptoms you may associate with menopause usually start months or years before you stop menstruating. Fluctuations in hormone levels cause these symptoms. This transitional period is known as perimenopause.
Common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Low-level depression
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
In addition to the physical symptoms, loss of estrogen also affects bone health by increasing the rate of bone loss, placing you at risk of developing osteoporosis — a serious bone disease that causes weak, fragile bones susceptible to breaking.
Lack of estrogen also increases your blood cholesterol levels, putting you at a greater risk of developing heart disease.
What happens during a menopause evaluation?
When you visit Arizona Women's Specialists for a menopause evaluation, you can expect a patient-centered exam. Your provider reviews your symptoms, gynecological and medical history, and family history.
They perform a physical, pelvic, and breast exam and run lab work to check your hormone levels.
How is menopause managed?
Menopause management focuses on easing symptoms and preventing menopause-related health complications. The Arizona Women's Specialists team customizes your treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms, your medical history, and your personal preferences.
Your menopause management plan may include:
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation
- A healthy diet and exercise program
- Hormone replacement therapy (for hot flashes and bone health)
- Vaginal estrogen (for vaginal dryness)
- Low-dose antidepressants
- Gabapentin or clonidine (for hot flashes)
For women struggling with vaginal dryness from hormonal changes, Arizona Women's Specialists offers MonaLisa Touch®. This feminine laser tool stimulates collagen production in the vaginal tissue, improving strength, elasticity, and moisture.
With so many treatment options, you no longer have to suffer through the symptoms of menopause. Call Arizona Women's Specialists or schedule a consultation online today.