Menopause affects every woman differently. Some women won’t notice any menopausal symptoms. Others will struggle with hot flashes, moodiness, or pain during sex.
Menopause is a natural part of aging, not a disorder. But there are treatments that can ease symptoms of menopause.
Baystate Health is the only full-service women’s health program in western Massachusetts. Our experts provide personalized care throughout every stage of a woman’s life, including menopause.
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
You reach menopause when you haven’t had a period in 12 months. Before this time, you are in menopausal transition, also called perimenopause.
Most women will experience menopause around age 50. Perimenopause typically lasts around seven years, but can last up to 15 years.
During perimenopause, levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen shift. Your body begins to use energy differently, which can lead to weight gain. Bones become less dense, which can lead to fractures.
SYMPTOMS OF PERIMENOPAUSE
The most common symptoms leading up to menopause include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
When should you see a doctor?
While treatment is not required, it can help you manage the transition more comfortably.
Menopause Treatment Options
It is important that you keep up with your regular wellness and preventive visits with your doctor. Share any medical concerns you have.
Treatment options include:
Hormone (estrogen) therapy which provides quick relief, but isn’t right for every woman
- Vaginal estrogen to relieve dryness
- Sleep medications
- Low-dose antidepressants
It is important to keep up with regular wellness visits with your gynecologist or other provider. Before deciding on treatment, talk with your doctor about your options. Review your options with your doctor every year, as your needs and treatment options may change.