Menopause is a normal consequence that happens to every women who lives long enough to experience it. It occurs when your ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and stop releasing eggs every month. The definition of menopause is no periods for a year.
Menopause usually happens naturally after age 40 (average age is 51) but it can occur before as a result of the surgical removal of the ovaries, or damage to the ovaries from chemotherapy (Induced Menopause) or, for unknown reasons, the ovaries stop releasing their eggs and hormones prematurely. Occasionally, the ovaries stop hormone production before 40 naturally.
The symptoms we usually associate with menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, etc.) can start to occur up to ten years prior to menopause as our ovaries start gradually making less estrogen. This transition period is called Perimenopause. You can still get pregnant during this time.
Some common symptoms reported by patients in perimenopause are:
- Irregular Periods
- Hot Flashes – Power Surges. About 85% of all women experience these.
- Mood Changes
- Low Libido
- Vaginal Dryness
- Weight Gain
- Tender Breasts
No two women are alike and no two women experience the same journey during their perimenopause and menopause. There are different options available if you are symptomatic and need some relief. Talk to Dr. Hayes or Sharon to see if you would be a candidate for Bio-identical Hormones (BHRT), Hormone Therapy, or Natural Remedies.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the use of supplemental doses of hormones that have a chemical structure identical to the hormones we naturally produce. If you purchase from a compounding pharmacy, they will be tailored on an individual basis. If you get at a pharmacy they are in a range of set doses. Many of these hormones are made from soybeans and wild yams. Getting our hormones balanced is a journey and more than likely will require several visits to have your prescription adjusted over time.