Reproductive hormone levels progressively decrease through a woman’s forties and early fifties, until menstruation stops all together. Menopause, or the end of female fertility, is usually accompanied by a variety of unwanted symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Fortunately, advances in medical care have made it possible to manage them effectively. At Caceres Specialized Gynecology in Kissimmee and Celebration, Florida, board-certified gynecologist Dr. Aileen Caceres and her expert team offer complete menopause support to help you stay active and age comfortably. Call your nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs when the production of estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones that regulate menstruation and control fertility, decline.
Your ovaries start reducing their output of these hormones when you reach your late thirties, but menopause doesn’t usually occur until you reach your late forties or early fifties. Menopause officially begins one year after your final menstrual cycle; in the United States, the average age for menopause is 51.
For women who have a total hysterectomy, or surgery that removes the uterus and both ovaries, menopause starts without any kind of transitional phase.
During perimenopause, or the time it takes your body to transition into menopause, you may experience a wide variety of physical and emotional symptoms related to your fluctuating hormone levels:
For some women, the physical symptoms of menopause can also result in low energy levels or feelings of sadness and loss.
Once you reach menopause, you have an increased risk of developing certain health problems. The hormonal shifts of menopause can lead to a rapid loss of bone density, for example, which increases your risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Lower estrogen levels also make you prone to developing cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in women and men alike. Urinary incontinence and significant weight gain are other common health complications associated with menopause.
Menopause may represent the end of your fertility, but it doesn’t have to affect your health, vitality, or sexuality. There are several effective treatment strategies that can help you manage your symptoms, so they don’t interfere with your daily life.
As a first-line approach, Dr. Caceres and her team encourage menopause patients to make healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a balanced diet that emphasizes whole foods and limits processed foods and added sugars can help alleviate symptoms, as can getting enough sleep and staying physically active.
Other effective treatment options include:
HRT is the supplementation of reproductive hormones that your body is no longer making. Low-dose systemic estrogen can help relieve hot flashes and night sweats, boost your energy and mood, and help you sleep better.
To help reduce the risk of unwanted side effects, the team at Caceres Specialized Gynecology offers custom-compounded bioidentical hormones, which are identical in molecular structure to the hormones that your body makes.
HRT isn’t suitable for all women, however, including those with a history of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or gallbladder disease.
MonaLisa Touch is one of the safest, gentlest, and most effective ways to address the vaginal and urinary symptoms associated with menopause:
Using advanced fractional CO2 technology, the laser makes painless, microscopic injuries in your vaginal tissues, which prompts your body’s healing mechanisms to initiate collagen renewal and rejuvenate the tissues that line your vaginal canal.
MonaLisa Touch laser therapy is safe and effective for virtually all women, including those with a history of cancer. To learn more about MonaLisa Touch or menopause in general, call your nearest office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.