Raising awareness of menopause, and what to expect
Ladies, first things first! Menopause is neither a disease nor a disorder. It is a natural process that all women experience somewhere between the ages of 45 and 55. Being aware of what changes our bodies can and will go through and being prepared is the key to effectively managing this change of life.
Menopause signals the end of menstruation. No more menstrual bleeding, closure to our reproductive years and a natural shut down in the production of oestrogen and progesterone, our female hormones.
Some women only realise they have reached menopause when they have not had any menstrual bleeding for 12 months, whilst others start to notice changes in their monthly cycle. Such changes can include lighter bleeding, irregular cycle length, and even unpredictable bleeding flow as hormone levels start to fluctuate.
Causes and symptoms
The most common symptoms of menopause women experience include the following in various levels of severity:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings and irritability
- Weight gain
- Skin changes including a decrease in elasticity
- Low libido (sex drive), painful intercourse
- Urinary incontinence and bladder changes
- In addition, bone density decreases making women just that more vulnerable to fractures
Consultation with a medical professional might result in a recommendation to commence oral hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that works to alleviate or reduce menopausal symptoms. This therapy does come with its own set of side effects so the decision to commence should not be taken lightly.
Northside Gynaecology also offer the revolutionary MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Laser therapy which is a non-invasive alternative to HRT for the treatment of symptoms related to vaginal atrophy.
It is important to recognise that menopause is nothing to fear, but is a new phase in life all women experience. Being aware of what is to come ensures that when symptoms do present themselves that you are not anxious about the natural changes to your body that are occurring.
If you are starting to experience symptoms commonly known to be associated with the menopausal transition, call 07 3054 4687 to discuss your situation. A range of treatment options will be presented and all questions and concerns will be answered in a personalised manner.