What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. Natural hormones begin to decline and egg production stops.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause usually begins approximately four years before menopause. This is when hormone levels begin to decline, though the ovaries still produce eggs. Periods may also become irregular.
Symptoms of menopause can include vaginal atrophy (incl. vaginal dryness), hot flashes, night sweats, problems sleeping, changes in mood, thinning hair and weight gain.
Causes of Menopause
Menopause has multiple causes, a natural decline in reproductive hormones (estrogen & progesterone) is the most common, total hysterectomy, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
What Other Issues Can Menopause Cause?
Menopause can cause other health complications, including: sexual dysfunction due to vaginal atrophy (dryness & loss of elasticity), low libido, weight gain, urinary incontinence, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Menopause is a natural part of aging and cannot be reversed, however the symptoms can be treated. Treatments include, hormone therapy, the MonaLisa Touch Laser, lubricants and oral therapies.
Hormone therapy, specifically estrogen, is the most commonly prescribed treatment for the hormone deficiency that comes with menopause. If you still have your uterus, progestin will also be prescribed.
Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
Bio-identical hormone therapy is an alternative to synthetic hormones for the treatment of hormone deficiency. Bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as those naturally found in our body. Because these hormones are exact replicas they mimic the pathways and signaling of normally occurring hormones in the body.
MonaLisa Touch Treatment
The MonaLisa Touch Laser treats vaginal atrophy and dryness associated with menopause. It stimulates the production of new vaginal tissue and restores vaginal hydration and elasticity.
Water-based vaginal lubricants can help temporarily restore vaginal hydration.
Estrogen can be applied directly to the vagina to reduce vaginal dryness via a creams, ring, or tablet.
The O-Shot is a non-surgical procedure that uses a woman's own platelet rich plasma to stimulate the stem cells and growth factor in the vaginal tissue. This can treat vaginal dryness as well as urinary incontinence associated with menopause.
There are multiple types of oral therapies to treat the symptoms of menopause, these include: oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, osteoporosis medication, and seizure medication to reduce hot flashes.
Oral contraceptives are the most commonly prescribed way to deliver synthetic hormone therapy. See Hormone Therapy
Anti-depressants known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can help with mood disorders associated with menopause. They may also decrease menopausal hot flashes.
Gabapentin, aka Neurontin, is a seizure medication that has been shown to reduce hot flashes. It may be prescribed to women who cannot take estrogen and for those who also suffer from migraines.
Menopause can weaken and reduce the density of bones. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe an osteoporosis medication to reduce bone loss.
Lifestyle & Home Remedies for Menopause
There are certain things you can do at home to reduce the symptoms of menopause: get enough sleep, practice relaxation, eat healthy and exercise, don't smoke and do kegel exercises.
Alternative Therapies for Menopause
Alternative therapies for menopause symptoms include acupuncture, yoga, and tai chi. These activities may temporarily reduce hot flashes.
Other Menopause Therapies
Plant estrogen, black chohosh, red clover, kava, and other supplements have no scientific basis behind their use in treating menopause symptoms and some can be harmful. Consult with you doctor before beginning a supplement routine.