Whether it’s a medical condition, treatments, or age (women enter menopause most commonly between the ages of 45 and 55), menopause comes with unique challenges.
You may feel off both physically and emotionally, as your hormones impact your cognition, your energy, and even the way you look. Many women entering menopause notice that they gain weight differently or that their hair and skin go through rapid changes.
Menopause occurs 12 months after a woman’s last period. However, you may experience some symptoms a few years before entering menopause.
Our experts at Bethel Family Medicine specialize in both family medicine and women’s wellness, and they have extensive experience working with women who want to improve the way they look and feel. Find out if your symptoms could indicate a transition to menopause and learn what you can do to ease your discomfort.
Hot flashes and chills
If you’re constantly worried that one moment you’re going to be hot and the next moment you’ll be cold, you may be suffering from the effects of low estrogen. In response to low estrogen, the body makes hormones in higher quantities to accommodate for these changes, and some of these hormones impact the way your brain regulates body temperature.
Estrogen is key to keeping the vaginal walls elastic and lubricated. Unfortunately, as levels drop, you may experience dryness and even pain during intercourse.
Thinning skin and hair
In the first years of menopause, women lose about 30% of their collagen. This dramatic change has a big impact on the appearance of your skin and hair. In addition, lower estrogen — and, as a consequence, more testosterone in relation to estrogen — can cause hair loss.
Due to hot flashes during the night, also known as night sweats, many women may find it difficult to sleep. This could also account for the poor concentration that’s so often associated with menopause.
Dropping levels of estrogen may have an impact on your metabolism, slowing it down. In addition, estrogen has an impact not only on how much fat is stored but where it’s stored as well. Women entering menopause may see that they gain weight in the midsection.
Managing your symptoms
Up until recently, women had no choice but to tolerate the negative changes that come with aging. However, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can now mitigate some of the changes due to menopause.
In healthy women without a history of breast cancer or blood clots, hormone replacement therapy can treat some, if not all, of the symptoms associated with menopause. In addition, women taking hormone replacement therapy also benefit from keeping their bones stronger for longer.
Are your symptoms causing your distress? Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out if you’re a good candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy available in the form of pills, patches, and creams.