The Institute for Women's Health
Your Guide to Menopause

The end of your period is a time to celebrate! No more shuffling around to find a pad or tampon when your period fails to notify you that it’s coming. For some women, this is a dreaded time. Once your period ends, it’s a sign that menopause begins.

From mood swings to hot flashes, there’s no surprise why menopause gets such a bad reputation. The good news is there are things you can do to help yourself prepare for and live better through this experience. New life experiences can be intimidating, especially when you aren’t properly educated. For example, there are no books on the market that can tell you exactly how to raise your kids, but there are resources that can help you prepare. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to menopause with you in mind! You’re not going through this experience alone.

Learn more about menopause, proper care, and treatment options below.

What is Menopause?

Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, which are the two hormones needed for fertility. Menopause is a natural process that happens as women age and commonly begins in women around between 45 and 55 years old. However, some women may experience premature menopause before they are 40.

If you’re going through Menopause, you may feel like you’re in this alone – but you’re not! There are 6,000 women in the United States who reach menopause every day. This means there are over 2 million women each year who are going through your same troubles.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from person to person and can be either physical, mental, or both. Some lucky women may not experience any symptoms. Symptoms will typically last between two to five years.

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. You may feel suddenly hot, and your face and neck might get red. The intensity of hot flashes can also vary. Your doctor can prescribe you medication that may help alleviate your hot flashes.

Vaginal Dryness

Your vaginal walls will lose moisture as your body stops producing estrogen and progesterone, which can make sexual intercourse painful. Luckily, lubricants can help ease the pain. If you still experience pain, talk to your doctor to see about a prescription cream.

Decreased Libido

You might even suffer from a slow orgasmic response or you might have trouble reaching orgasms, but your doctor will be able to recommend some medications to help.

Night Sweats

If you are experiencing night sweats, you might wake up in the middle of the night freezing cold, covered in sweat, and with a rapid heartbeat. Night sweats are due to hormone changes. Estrogen levels react with the brain, but estrogen levels are changing. These different hormone levels confuse the brain, so the brain sets off a chain of events to cool the body down. If you are experiencing night sweats regularly, keep a bottle of cold water by your bed at night.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of menopause and occur because of serotonin levels. Mood swings are unexpected, and every woman experiences different moods. Mood swings can be frustrating. You might feel like no one understands what you are going through, but it is important to remember that you are not going through this alone.

Are there treatments for menopause?

There are a few treatment options that can help alleviate the symptoms associated with menopause. However, you shouldn’t proceed with a treatment option without consulting your gynecologist. It is essential to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing with your doctor to find an effective treatment plan for you.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone replacement therapy uses the female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) your body stops producing to treat common symptoms of menopause and aging. This is one of the most effective treatment options, but there are also many risks. Ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of HRT to decide if it is a safe and effective option for you.

Prescription Medications

Your doctor might prescribe you certain medications that can help alleviate your symptoms. There are also some over-the-counter medications that can help with menopausal symptoms, but you should speak with your doctor before taking any medication.

Lifestyle Changes

There are some lifestyle changes you can do that may help lessen some of your symptoms. For example, meditation is known to help reduce stress and help you cope with your symptoms. Regular exercise can help keep your weight down, improve sleep, strengthen bones, and elevate your mood. You should also try to limit your alcohol and caffeine intake to get better sleep at night.

Visit the Institute for Women’s Health

If you are experiencing menopause symptoms, visit one of the doctors at the Institute for Women’s Health for menopause treatment in San Antonio. Our experienced physicians specialize in obstetrics and gynecology and can provide the women’s health care services you need. Our gynecologists will work with you to find the right treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again. Visit one of our nine locations today, or call (210) 349-6626 for more information.

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