Estrogen is what keeps women menstruating and prepares their cycle for conception. However, as women grow older, it becomes difficult for their bodies to produce the necessary amounts of bodily estrogen, a condition known as menopause. This condition becomes more common among women when they cross the age of 50. New York menopause affects everyone differently, but most women experience severe mental and physical changes.
Here are the major signs and symptoms of menopause;
Many women experience vaginal dryness due to reduced estrogen levels during menopause. This can cause painful intercourse (dyspareunia) and other symptoms such as burning or itching in the vagina during urination, bowel movements, and urinary tract infections. It is important for women who experience vaginal dryness to talk with their doctors about treatment options that can help manage these symptoms.
You may feel like you are overheating even though your body temperature does not change much during a hot flash. Hot flashes usually begin about 10 years before menopause and continue for several years after it ends. They can last from seconds to several minutes but typically last at least 20 minutes each time they happen.
Changes in sexual function
Sexual response is a complex process that involves cognitive, emotional, and physical factors. The physical component of sexual response involves the genital organs and their functions, which are controlled by hormones. Hormones act as messengers in the body to control various functions, including reproduction, growth and development, mood, and behavior.
In menopause, there is an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, leading to low levels of these hormones. Low levels of these hormones can affect the physical aspect of sexual response by reducing lubrication (vaginal secretions) and decreasing vaginal elasticity, the ability of the vagina to expand during sex. Thus there will be reduced pleasure during sex for women going through menopause.
During menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs, and estrogen levels decline. This causes the lining of the uterus to become thinner and less able to support a fertilized egg. As a result, ovulation is often irregular or even stops altogether in some women.
If you have not had a period for 6 months or more, you should see your doctor for an evaluation. If you are post-menopausal and have not been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for at least one year, your doctor may recommend taking HRT to help with symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
What is the ideal treatment for menopause?
There are various treatments for menopause which include hormone replacement therapy and alternative therapies. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses estrogen and progesterone to reduce symptoms’ severity and protect against other health problems caused by menopause.
Alternative therapies include dietary changes, vitamins and supplements, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, massage therapy, and various home remedies. Some alternative treatments are designed to relieve symptoms like hot flashes or night sweats. Others work more broadly on stress management or hormonal balance.
If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, consult Anna Barbieri, MD, for help.