In an ideal world, the transition from your reproductive years into your non-reproductive years is smooth as your ovaries shut down and you can enjoy life without your monthly cycle. For many women, however, menopause is fraught with many unwelcome side effects, from poor sexual health to incontinence.
At Ideal Gynecology, our team understands the effects that dramatic changes like menopause can have on a woman's health and well-being. To give you a better idea of your options, here’s a look at some of the more common side effects of menopause and when you should seek treatment.
The many faces of menopause
Menopause affects women to wildly different degrees. Some women sail through the transition without any problems while others are saddled with permanent — and unwelcome — changes to their health. Most women fall somewhere in between and may benefit from some medical help.
The most common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Irritability or moodiness
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep issues
- Cognitive difficulties, especially memory
As you can see by this list, these side effects can present serious quality of life concerns, especially if they continue for years.
Deciding to seek help
The decision to see us about your menopause symptoms is one that only you can make. Our feeling is that if any of the symptoms listed above are severe or have gone on too long, there’s no reason for you to just grit your teeth and bear it.
For example, many women over 50 experience problems with vaginal dryness. This loss of lubrication, as well as a decline in the health of your vaginal tissue, can lead to painful sex. We don’t feel that’s something you need to simply accept as the new normal.
Perhaps your hot flashes and night sweats prevent you from getting the rest you need. This loss of sleep can wreak havoc on your life, which makes seeking treatment a good idea.
Treating your menopause symptoms
Our frontline treatment for the side effects of menopause is hormone replacement therapy. Since menopause is triggered by a precipitous drop in your estrogen and progesterone levels, it’s the most logical place to start to offset your problematic symptoms, especially sexual health and hot flashes.
There are many ways we can deliver hormones to your body, including slow-release pellets, vaginal creams or suppositories, and oral medications.
If your menopause creates mental health issues like anxiety or depression, we can prescribe medications like antidepressants to help you get back to feeling like yourself again.
There are also many lifestyle tips that can help you better weather the transition and we’re happy to share them with you.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to suffer before, during, or after menopause. If you’d like to find relief, contact our office in Atlanta or McDonough, Georgia, by phone or online to set up a consultation.