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What you might not know about menopause

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What you might not know about menopause

side view of worried blonde woman with menopause

Additional Blogs:

Navigating Menopause: Hormone Therapy as a Treatment Option

Menopause marks a significant transition in a woman's life and is often accompanied by a variety of unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms. Understanding and managing these symptoms can greatly improve one's quality of life through this natural and very important...

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Despite the fact that all women who reach a certain age will 100% go into menopause, no one needs to suffer through this transition. The process can seem mysterious to many women, leaving them wondering if they are perimenopausal or in menopause.  And then, many women suffer through Peri/menopause because they don’t know the facts, how to get help or know where resources are to optimize their health, wellbeing and happiness during this transition.

What are some things women don’t know about menopause Perimenopause and Menopause?

  • Menopause can occur earlier than expected in some women. Premature menopause, before age 40, affects about 1% of women. This can be caused by certain medical conditions, chromosomal abnormalities, or treatments like chemotherapy.
  • Perimenopause can start 10 years before your last menstrual cycle.
  • Once you are in Menopause (marked as 1 year past your last menstrual cycle) you are in it for the rest of your life
  • The symptoms of menopause can persist for many years. While hot flashes typically last 6 months to 2 years, they can continue for 10+ years in some women. Other symptoms like insomnia and vaginal dryness, mood alteration, cognitive challenges, musculoskeletal pain, pelvic and sexual challenges and urinary problems will persist without treatment
  • Menopause can impact pelvic health. Decreased estrogen and testosterone  levels can lead to urine leakage, vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. You may also find your sex drive is low or completely gone. This condition is easily treated.  Then, in the absence of menstruation and pregnancy concerns, you can celebrate opportunities for intimacy and exploration.
  • Menopause is not just a physical transition, but can also have emotional and social impacts. These hormonal changes can contribute to serious mood challenges including depression and anxiety in some women. Hormone replacement is the recommended treatment, before antidepressants. Socially, menopause may mark a shift in a woman’s identity and role within her family and community. The end of fertility and the shift in identity and role can be challenging for some. For others, it is the time when, with less family obligations, women soar in their careers, take up new hobbies and develop new friendships. 
  • Menopause increases the risk of certain health conditions like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Seeking medical guidance and evaluation for menopause hormone replacement can ensure women receive appropriate screening, prevention and treatment to protect their long-term health.
  • Menopause can also impact a woman’s work and personal relationships. Supportive employers, understanding partners and access to medical and psychological support  can help women continue to thrive during this transition.

Menopause is a global public health topic that requires greater awareness. Many women in the US, and around the world, lack information about menopause symptoms and treatment options, and even the most educated healthcare providers may not be adequately trained to manage menopausal care. More and more, patients are referred to us by primary care providers (PCP) who know that they aren’t specialists in menopause care and that their patient needs help. But oftentimes the patients we see have talked to a PCP or general practitioner about menopause and were told it was simply a normal part of the aging process, and eventually things would get better. Thankfully our patients kept looking for support and found us. But we know there are scores of women that don’t, and they’re left on their own, struggling and suffering. 

While we’re hopefully that a day will come where menopause treatment is as common as monitoring your blood pressure, for now we’re doing our part to help women in this region gain access to the resources and solutions that can help them thrive through this transition. 

Seeking support from healthcare professionals, loved ones, and community resources can empower women to manage menopause effectively and maintain their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. If you’re looking for support leading up to and during menopause, we’d love the opportunity to talk you through our approach and to be part of your wellness team.