Menopause can either happen naturally when you stop ovulating around your early 50s or after an oophorectomy, which is a surgery to remove your ovaries.
If you go through menopause naturally with age, you start experiencing hormone fluctuations years before your menstrual cycle stops entirely.
Given that your hormones are in control of many different processes inside your body, the fluctuations and eventual drop can make for some uncomfortable symptoms.
Our expert team of OB/GYNs and other women’s health specialists are here to help you at every stage of life, including perimenopause (the time before menopause when symptoms tend to start) and menopause itself.
Here at The Association for Women’s Health Care, we talk to you about your menopause symptoms and what we can do to minimize them.
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the tools we use to get your symptoms under control, but HRT isn’t for everyone. Discuss its implications with one of our experts before you proceed.
In this brief guide, we go over the basics of when hormone replacement is beneficial and what to expect.
Symptoms and complications of menopause
Perimenopause is typically when menopausal symptoms begin, and they can last for up to an entire decade before eventually fading away. For women with severe symptoms, this can feel like an eternity.
Common symptoms of menopause vary in intensity and generally tend to decline over time. Even if they’re mild at first, some of them can have a greater impact on your sense of well-being than you might initially expect.
Visit our offices for menopause care if you experience bothersome or severe symptoms such as:
- Mood swings
- Nighttime sweating
- Vaginal dryness
- Slowed metabolism and weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
Odds are you’ll notice symptoms like these as they occur. While they can be highly uncomfortable or difficult to manage, some of the most serious complications of menopause are harder to detect.
As your estrogen drops, your risks increase for chronic conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease. Our offices offer screenings for conditions like these if you’re at risk.
What you can do about your symptoms
If menopause symptoms prevent you from enjoying day-to-day life or being productive, you may benefit from hormone replacement therapy. We can speak with you extensively about the benefits of HRT and possible risks.
We evaluate your health extensively to make sure you don’t have any underlying health conditions that could make the therapy risky.
HRT works in the way that its name implies: It replaces the hormones your body stops making when you reach menopause.
There are a couple of different types, including estrogen therapy (for those who no longer have a uterus) or estrogen plus progestin (if you still have a uterus). The progestin in the latter type reduces your risk of uterine cancer.
There are multiple ways you can take hormones, including pills and injections. One of the most popular methods is hormone pellets. We implant a tiny hormone pellet under your skin, where it gradually releases hormones at a consistent rate. This helps avoid hormone fluctuations between doses.
At The Association for Women’s Health Care, we offer HRT with bioidentical hormones, which many women prefer. Unlike the synthetic variety, they’re a match to the hormones your body makes.
Synthetic hormones may be an option for you too, as they can still interact with your body’s hormone receptors. You can compare the two in more detail during your visit.
Are you a candidate?
Experiencing hormone fluctuations as you approach and enter menopause can lead to some serious discomfort. If you don’t feel well because of your menopausal symptoms, schedule a consultation by phone or online at either of our locations, in The Loop section of Chicago or in Northbrook, Illinois.