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Menopause Symptoms: When to Seek Treatment

Menopause Symptoms: When to Seek Treatment

Menopause marks the end of your reproductive years. It’s the time when your menstrual period stops, your hormones shift, and you’re no longer able to get pregnant.

Estrogen and progesterone levels start dropping as early as age 40. These hormonal changes trigger symptoms of perimenopause, which is the transitional phase before menopause officially begins.

Perimenopause lasts anywhere from 4-8 years. When it’s been a full year since your last period, menopause starts, and it continues for an average of 4-5 years. Add perimenopause and menopause together, and many women live with bothersome symptoms for 10 years or longer.

Perimenopause and menopause are part of a natural process — but the symptoms can feel anything but. Hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal discomfort and more can all disrupt your quality of life. The good news is: Treatment can make a big difference. 

Katie Ostrom, MD, and our team of gynecology experts work with women to navigate the changes of menopause. From lifestyle adjustments to hormone replacement therapy and MonaLisa Touch®, we’re committed to helping you find treatment for your most bothersome menopause symptoms.

Signs of perimenopause and menopause

Hormonal changes in menopause can significantly affect the way you feel. Some of the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include:

Any one of these symptoms has the power to impact your quality of life. Experiencing multiple symptoms can quickly make you feel unlike yourself.

Remember that every woman’s menopause experience is unique. Some women find their symptoms are mild or short-lived, and they may never seek treatment. For others, symptoms are quite severe and interfere with their daily lives.

Lifestyle changes for menopause symptoms

You deserve to feel comfortable and confident in your body. If you’re bothered by symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, don’t wait to seek treatment. Dr. Ostrom and our team specialize in menopause care, and we’re here to help you find relief and feel like yourself again.

We often begin by recommending some lifestyle changes to minimize menopause symptoms naturally. Getting regular exercise can reduce the severity of your symptoms while helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Eating a balanced diet is good for you too. Choose foods like fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, as they can make hot flashes worse.

Smoking cigarettes can exacerbate menopause symptoms. So if you smoke, consider getting help to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

Along with regular exercise and a nutritious diet, strive to find healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety. Relaxation techniques, like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga, can have positive effects on the physical and mental changes that menopause brings.

Medical care for severe menopause symptoms

Lifestyle changes alone may not make a difference for severe menopause symptoms. If you’ve tried making healthy changes but you still find that your symptoms interfere with your everyday life, Dr. Ostrom and our team can offer other treatment options.

Hormone replacement therapy is a popular treatment for severe menopause symptoms. Our team works with you to find a dose of supplemental hormones to balance your hormone levels and relieve bothersome symptoms.

Dr. Ostrom may recommend MonaLisa Touch for vaginal symptoms, including dryness, itchiness, vaginal atrophy, and urinary incontinence. This noninvasive treatment stimulates collagen growth in skin to help make sexual encounters more comfortable.

If your life is disrupted by menopause symptoms, it’s time to seek help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ostrom and our team to learn more about your options. Call our Homer, Alaska office at 907-435-0555 or use the online booking tool.

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