Menopause Q & A
When does menopause occur?
Menopause is not a disease. It’s a natural physiologic occurrence that happens when a woman’s ovaries stop working, usually in her late forties or early fifties. At this time, menstruation becomes irregular and eventually stops. Pregnancy is no longer possible, so contraception is no longer needed. A woman may experience hot flashes, night sweats, or vaginal dryness. She may have new and bothersome urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, or waking up at night with the need to void.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause symptoms range from mild to severe. Some women find that the symptoms of menopause affect their daily quality of life. Symptoms include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Unexplained weight gain
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Low energy
At the time of menopause, many other unrelated changes often occur in women’s lives: children leave home, parents age, and other medical conditions may confound menopausal symptoms. It’s not always easy to decipher what’s contributing to a woman’s health, but extremely important to do so.
How are menopause symptoms treated?
Menopause can be a time of newly-found freedoms and pleasures. Dr. Hurst customizes treatments for her menopausal patients to each one’s specific set of symptoms and concerns. She partners with her patients to educate and dispel myths concerning this phase of their lives.
After taking a thorough personal and family history and performing a complete physical examination, hormonal or nonhormonal treatment options may be offered. Behavioral modifications such as dietary changes, supplements, and exercise are often included to optimize menopausal health while simultaneously considering the patient as an entire and very dynamic human being.
Risks and benefits of all treatment options are carefully weighed. Concurrent medical issues which may occur in menopause, such as bone loss (osteoporosis) and heart disease are evaluated and taken into consideration when applying a treatment plan.
Is hormone treatment available to treat menopause symptoms?
When hormone replacement therapy is deemed a safe and appropriate option, Dr. Hurst will design a dosing and combination regimen specific to each woman’s medical history and symptoms. Expectations are carefully delineated. Hormonal therapy may be oral, vaginal, transdermal, traditional, or bioidentical.