Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle ends, her ovaries no longer produce eggs and the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease. The years leading up to this transition are known as perimenopause; during this time, your period may start and stop irregularly and your hormone levels will fluctuate. Since this transitional period can last for an undetermined amount of time, menopause is best evaluated and monitored by checking hormone levels in your urine, saliva or blood.
Menopause and perimenopause can contribute to a number of symptoms including:
- Irregular periods. This will occur during the transitional phase (perimenopause). Your period could stop or start at any time, with varying degrees of menstrual symptoms.
- Trouble sleeping. It may be hard to sleep throughout the night, leading to daytime fatigue. You may also experience night sweats while you sleep.
- Hot flashes. This is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. Your face or neck may become red, and red blotches may appear on your chest, back and arms. Hot flashes can be accompanied by heavy sweating or chills.
- Mood swings. Your mood may change regularly. You may feel irritable or experience unprovoked crying spells.
- Vaginal and urinary issues. Sex may become less comfortable because of the lack of estrogen in your body. You may become more likely to develop urinary tract infections or vaginal infections. Some women also experience incontinence during this time.
- Sexual changes. Some women experience a diminished sex drive, while others may become more comfortable with their sexuality.
- Osteoporosis. Your bones get thinner and weaker, which may lead to broken bones or a decrease in height.
Menopause and Healthy Aging
The changes your body will experience during menopause increase your chances for developing serious health conditions like heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. There are steps you can take to enhance your health during this time:
- Healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Regular sleep
- No smoking
- Maintain gynecological health
Hormone Replacement Therapy and Menopause
Since the symptoms of menopause are due to a sudden imbalance and lack of hormones, an effective treatment during menopause is hormone replacement therapy. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy replaces and replenishes the hormones that have diminished due to menopause and aging.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy works to alleviate symptoms such as:
- Reduced sex drive
- Hair loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Muscle loss
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
There are different methods of receiving these hormones, such as creams, tablets, injections or pellet implants. The inclusion of these hormones back into your system can alleviate the symptoms of menopause and will help you feel better by aiding in the regeneration of energy and vitality of youth.