Do My Symptoms Mean I’m in Menopause?

Women go through many stages of hormonal changes in their lifetimes. Starting with puberty, in pregnancy, and up through menopause, our bodies are constantly undergoing hormonal changes and sometimes imbalances. If you’re at the point in your life where menopause is imminent, you’re probably wondering what you can expect over the next few years.

Dr. John Paul Roberts is our skilled OB/GYN, and he can help you navigate the road to menopause. After taking a detailed history of your symptoms and performing an exam, he’ll help you figure out how to best manage the symptoms you’re experiencing and come up with a plan to treat them.

Stages of menopause

At some point in your life, your body will slow down production of female hormones on the way toward menopause. You may go through this change as early as your late 30s, but more commonly in your late 40s or early 50s.

There are three stages of menopause that your body goes through during this transition. These three stages include:

1. Perimenopause

This is the initial stage that begins the decline in estrogen and the transition out of your reproductive years. Perimenopause can start months to years before you actually hit menopause. You’ll start to have irregular periods, but you can still get pregnant during this phase. 

2. Menopause

This is the stage where your menstrual cycle is over and you no longer produce the hormones related to sustaining a pregnancy. You won’t be officially in menopause until you go a year without a period. This stage is when you’ll notice most of the symptoms related to the drop in hormones.

3. Postmenopause

You’re considered postmenopausal after you’ve gone past a year without a menstrual cycle. Once you’re in this stage, you’ll be considered postmenopausal for the rest of your life. In this stage, you should not experience vaginal bleeding anymore, so if you do, be sure to contact Dr. Roberts as soon as possible.

Knowing the symptoms to look out for can help you determine which stage you’re in, and can help you decide if you want to pursue treatment.

Menopause: Symptoms of the change

During your child bearing years, your hormones are usually balanced so that you can successfully carry a pregnancy. When your female hormones begin to drop as you approach menopause, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

Many of these can be symptoms of other conditions, too, so it’s important to keep track of your menstrual cycle. If you’re in your mid-forties, and you have these symptoms along with a change in your menstrual cycle, you may be transitioning into perimenopause. 

Sometimes, menopause may begin as early as your late thirties. Factors that may lead to early menopause include:

Early menopause can be devastating, especially if you still want children. If you think that you may be going through this transition too early, it’s important that you talk to Dr. Roberts about your treatment options.

Many women go through menopause without treatment. But if the symptoms begin affecting your daily routine, it may be time to consider your treatment options.

Treatment options to consider

Menopause can be managed if your symptoms are making your life unbearable. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps with some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause. 

HRT comes in several different forms, including pills, gels, creams, patches, and implants. Hormonal therapy is usually a combination of estrogen and progesterone and can significantly help with hot flashes and mood swings.

If your main complaint is sexual problems related to vaginal dryness, Dr. Roberts can talk to you about laser therapy. This type of treatment can help to alleviate the causes of painful intercourse related to hormonal changes in menopause. 

Remember that hormones affect everyone differently, and any kind of therapy should be discussed with Dr. Roberts to make sure it’s the right treatment option for you.

Stop suffering from unwanted symptoms related to menopause. Call our office in Plano, Texas, at 972-591-8826 or book an appointment with Dr. Roberts online today.

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