Menopause is a normal phase in a woman’s health care journey, marking the end of your menstrual cycle and ability to get pregnant. Though menopause affects every woman differently, Suyang Li, MD, and the team at Federal Way Women’s Health Care recommends scheduling a consultation before you reach menopause so you know what to expect. To find out more about menopause and how to manage it, call the office in Federal Way, Washington, or schedule an appointment online today.
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she no longer menstruates. You reach menopause after going 12 months in a row without your period.
Menopause occurs because the ovaries stop making estrogen, the female hormone that controls the menstrual cycle. However, the ovaries don’t abruptly stop making estrogen. Before you reach menopause, you go through a phase called perimenopause.
This transitional period may start sometime in your 30s or 40s and cause fluctuations in estrogen production. A change in your menstrual cycle is the most common sign of perimenopause. You may skip periods or your period may be lighter or heavier than normal.
Many of the symptoms women associate with menopause start during perimenopause. Common symptoms include:
Though not everyone women experiences problems during perimenopause or menopause, some women have such severe symptoms that it disrupts their daily life.
You should schedule a menopause evaluation at Federal Way Women’s Health Care if you have symptoms of menopause or concerns about the change of life.
The team starts talking to you about menopause at your well-woman exams well before you reach menopause. It’s important to know what to expect and how hormonal changes might affect your health.
When you come in for a menopause evaluation, the team reviews your symptoms, medical and gynecological history, and family history. They perform a physical and pelvic exam and run lab work to check hormone levels.
You can’t stop menopause, but the team at Federal Way Women’s Health Care can provide treatments that ease symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the primary treatment for menopause symptoms. HRT may include estrogen plus progestin or only estrogen. Hormone replacement is given as a pill, patch, gel, or spray.
If you had a hysterectomy, the team may recommend estrogen plus progestin to reduce your risk of uterine cancer.
HRT isn’t recommended if you have a history of endometrial or breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, heart disease, or liver disease. Instead, your provider may recommend other treatments to manage symptoms such as antidepressants or gabapentin.
To see if you can benefit from a menopause evaluation and treatment, call Federal Way Women’s Health Care or schedule an appointment online today.