shutterstock_1723848115_2jo0GfW..jpeg (shutterstock_1723848115.webp)Menopause, while a natural part of life, can feel like a rollercoaster ride—one filled with severe hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and more. Despite the fact that around half of the Earth's population will experience or have experienced menopause, many people don't understand exactly what menopause is, how it affects the body, and what treatments are available.

Menopause, while inevitable, doesn't have to be a dreaded event. It's a natural part of life, and with the right understanding and management, you can make it through without disruption. In this article, we'll explore the common menopause symptoms and treatments from the experts at Advanced Women’s Care of Pittsburgh that can help manage them.

What Exactly Is Menopause?

According to the North American Menopause Society, menopause is defined as 'the final menstrual period,' and is typically diagnosed when a woman has missed her period for 12 consecutive months. Natural menopause occurs when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, marking the end of fertility. Typically, this kind of menopause happens in women between the ages of 45 and 55.

However, early menopause, also known as premature menopause, can happen at a younger age. This might be induced medically, such as with chemotherapy or surgery, or may occur as a result of genetics, an autoimmune disorder, primary ovarian insufficiency, or a combination of factors. Regardless of the cause, early menopause requires ongoing monitoring and management.

Symptoms of Menopause

Perimenopause, also called the menopausal transition, is the period of time leading up to menopause when hormonal changes begin. This transition can last for years and is typically what people think of when they hear the word 'menopause,' since this is when menopausal symptoms are the most pronounced due to the drop in estrogen and other hormones that occurs during this time. Menopausal women often experience:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Mood changes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning hair
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Issues with memory

For some women, these symptoms are mild and manageable; for others, they can significantly impact daily life. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help manage menopause symptoms and alleviate discomfort.

Treatment Options

At Advanced Women’s Care of Pittsburgh, we're proud to offer menopausal hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT, to help manage the symptoms of menopause. HRT involves taking synthetic hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, to replace what the body has stopped producing. It can come in the form of pills, patches, creams, or gels that are applied to the skin, or as implants placed under the skin.

HRT is effective at easing hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause. It can also help prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures, which increases in risk after menopause due to the decline in estrogen. When finding the right treatment for you, your doctor will keep your medical history in mind and may utilize hormone testing to make sure you are getting the right dosage. Taking care of your health should be on your mind outside of the doctor's office, as well.

Exercising regularly, eating well, and getting quality sleep can also help reduce your symptoms, as can staying connected with the people around you. Spend time with friends and family, join support groups, or consider speaking with a therapist or counselor. Sometimes, simply sharing your experiences and hearing others' stories can make a big difference.

Our Women's Care Specialist Services

Navigating the waters of menopause doesn't have to be a solo voyage. The team at Advanced Women’s Care of Pittsburgh is ready and eager to provide the guidance, treatment, and support you need during this new chapter of your life.

Understanding and effectively managing menopause symptoms can significantly improve your quality of life during this transition. It's not just about symptom relief, but also about empowering yourself with knowledge and adopting a proactive approach towards your health.

So don’t hesitate to reach out, ask questions, and seek advice from our women's health experts. Embrace this new phase of life with confidence, strength, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're in capable hands at Advanced Women’s Care of Pittsburgh.

Advanced Women's Care of Pittsburgh, P.C. is here for you! Schedule your appointment online today to get high-quality, personalized women's health services in a comfortable environment.