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Suffering Bothersome Menopause Symptoms? We Have Treatment Options

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life that marks the end of her reproductive years. You’ve officially reached that milestone when you haven’t menstruated for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, with symptoms starting between ages 45-55 and lasting about four years: The exact timing is different for each person.

Perimenopause is a time when reproductive hormone levels, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH), start to fluctuate. At this time women also experience the loss of active ovarian follicles, the structures that produce and release eggs from the ovary walls. Periods become intermittent and blood flow irregular.

At Medical Care for Women in Astoria, New York, Dr. Andrea D. Olanescu and her team understand that the transition through both perimenopause and menopause, with their many physical symptoms and psychological stress, can be difficult to go through. And while there’s no way to circumvent the process itself, they do have treatment options for getting rid of the bothersome symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.

Common perimenopause and menopause symptoms

The earliest signs of perimenopause are usually:

An estimated 75% of women experience hot flashes with menopause, the symptom most people associate with the condition.

Additional symptoms include:

Treatments for perimenopause and menopause symptoms

There are a number of different treatments for menopausal symptoms:

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and the risk of osteoporosis are all caused by decreased estrogen production during the perimenopausal and menopausal years. HRT is FDA-approved to treat these symptoms. It comes in two types:

  1. Estrogen-only therapy: estrogen hormone provides the most menopausal symptom relief; prescribed for women who don’t have a uterus due to a hysterectomy
  2. Estrogen plus progestogen therapy: progestogen is added to the estrogen to protect against uterine (endometrial) cancer that may result from estrogen alone

HRT can be administered in two forms:

  1. Systemic products (oral tablet, patch, gel, emulsion, spray, or injection): circulate through the bloodstream to all parts of the body and are used for hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal symptoms, and osteoporosis
  2. Local (nonsystemic) products (cream, ring, or tablet): affect only a specific or localized area of the body and are used to treat vaginal symptoms (dryness, laxity) only

Systemic HRT comes with some risks, including associations with breast cancer, stroke, and an increase in blood clots in the veins, especially in women over 60. Therefore, doctors prescribe the lowest effective dose of HRT for the shortest amount of time to achieve symptom relief.

Other medications

Dr. Olanescu can also prescribe low-dose antidepressants or antiseizure medications to help with hot flashes, or one of a number of drugs that work to build bone density to combat the risk of osteoporosis. Antidepressants, which also address mood changes, work best when combined with some form of psychotherapy.

Lifestyle changes

Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help yourself through the transition is to adapt your lifestyle to accommodate the changes. Here are two examples:

1. For night sweats

2. For urinary incontinence

If you’re going through the change of menopause and are daunted by the bothersome symptoms, we have treatment options that can help. Give Medical Care for Women a call at 718-278-0888, or book your consultation online today.

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