Menopause

QUESTION & ANSWER

For numerous women, menopause can come with many uncomfortable symptoms as well as physical and emotional changes. At Aria Health and Wellness, our advanced practice providers can help women navigate through this stage of life by offering different treatment options. Deborah Davis, APRN is a member of the North American Menopause Society, the leading independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural and normal event that occurs during a woman’s life when she has stopped menstruating. A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). Menopause is caused by a decrease of the functionality of the ovaries, resulting in the ovaries no longer producing eggs and decreased production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The time of menopause can vary from age 40 – 60 with an average age around 51. Annual well woman exams are beneficial in helping determine whether a woman is entering menopause or not.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

The symptoms of menopause will differ from woman to woman. Some women experience no symptoms at all while others may experience multiple symptoms.

 

The following symptoms may accompany menopause:

  • Hot Flashes

  • Insomnia/Difficulty Falling Asleep and/or Staying Asleep

  • Night Sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Discomfort during intercourse

  • Decreased Libido

  • Weight Gain

  • Vaginal Dryness

  • Bladder Control Issues

  • Moodiness / Irritability

  • Hair Loss / Thinning of Hair

  • Anxiety

How is menopause treated?

Since menopause is a natural process that the body goes through, treatment involves addressing any symptoms women are experiencing. One treatment is hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) which involves the prescription of medication containing estrogen or progesterone. HRT medications are prescribed to replace the hormones that are deficient within the ovaries and can come in the form of pills, patches, insertable pellets, or creams. Each patient’s symptoms and individual needs will determine the most effective treatment plan.