Women are prepared to experience hot flashes during menopause, but they’re often surprised by the other symptoms that occur before, during, and long after menopause. The board-certified doctors at Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates can help women find relief from the range of menopause symptoms using lifestyle options, hormone replacement therapy, and gentle laser treatments. If you develop uncomfortable menopause symptoms, schedule an appointment by using online booking or calling one of the offices in Lake Bluff or Grayslake, Illinois.
Your hormones begin to fluctuate in the years before menopause, creating a transitional time called perimenopause. The first symptom of menopause, irregular menstrual periods, occurs during this time. You may randomly skip periods, your periods may become lighter or heavier and your cycles could be unusually long or short.
Up to 80% of women experience hot flashes and night sweats, making them the most common menopause symptoms. These vasomotor symptoms may begin during perimenopause and last for years after menopause. While hot flashes and night sweats eventually end, they last about seven years for more than half of women.
Estrogen is essential for maintaining the health of your vagina. The loss of estrogen at menopause causes about half of all women to develop a condition called vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy occurs as the vaginal lining thins out, becomes less elastic and dehydrated, and loses natural lubrication. These changes cause symptoms, such as:
You may also produce less lubrication during intercourse and the fragile vaginal tissues may bleed after you have intercourse.
Estrogen fills many important roles throughout your body, which is why you can experience a wide range of symptoms. Three of the most common include:
The tissues lining your urinary tract go through the same changes as your vaginal lining. As a result, you may need to urinate more often or have more frequent urinary tract infections. You can also develop stress incontinence and uncontrollably leak urine when you cough, laugh, or lift heavy objects.
Low levels of estrogen accelerate age-related changes in your skin, leading to dehydration, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles. Your skin may also become more susceptible to bruising.
Estrogen directly affects neurotransmitters and brain function, leading to menopause symptoms, such as mood changes, depression, anxiety, and memory loss.
The doctors at Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates provide many treatments to relieve menopause symptoms. They may advise you about lifestyle tips to manage mild symptoms, prescribe medications that target specific problems, or recommend hormone replacement therapy, which reverses all your symptoms. They also alleviate vaginal atrophy using gentle laser treatment with the MonaLisa Touch®.
You don’t need to continue suffering from hot flashes or painful intercourse, call Westmoreland Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates or book an appointment online.