Perimenopause and Menopause Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Menopause is a stage that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The transition to menopause starts in the mid-40s. People may have symptoms that vary from mild to intense. Dr. Inga Zilberstein, MD, provides comprehensive New York menopause care to enhance your quality of life.
What are perimenopause and menopause?
Perimenopause is the period that marks the transition to menopause. Women may undergo the phase at different times. It often starts in the mid-40s, but some women may experience symptoms in their 30s.
Your menstrual cycle may become erratic during perimenopause, becoming longer and shorter periodically. Perimenopause could also be marked by menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness or hot flashes.
If your menstrual cycle stops for at least 12 months, you are officially in the menopause phase. It also marks the end of the perimenopause stage.
Menopause is not a health condition but a phase where the menstrual cycle stops. Every woman has a different experience of menopause symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some females may see the transition as liberating since they don’t have to deal with birth control or menstrual cycles.
However, some females may experience symptoms that cause considerable discomfort. Physical signs of the transition include night sweating, hot flashes, and irregular periods.
Some women experience psychological effects like irritability, mood swings, and mental distress. Changes may also include a low sex drive or an inability to fall asleep (insomnia).
Approximately two-thirds of women have challenges maintaining their concentration. Coupled with short-term memory loss, the psychological effects can impact productivity and quality of life.
The duration of the menopause phase also varies between women. It may last between five and ten years. You can manage the condition with diet and exercise if you have moderate to severe symptoms. You ought to consider consulting your provider for effective treatment options.
Causes of menopause
Most cases of menopause occur as a natural process of aging. It happens when the reproductive cycle ends, and estrogen hormone levels deplete in the body.
The symptoms you experience are the body’s reaction to a dip in estrogen levels. Besides regulating your menstrual cycle, estrogen controls blood sugar levels and bone mass. The hormone is also responsible for brain function. When estrogen levels drop, it may affect cognitive function and memory.
Diagnosis and treatment
Even though menopause does not always require treatment, you may want to consult your doctor when you have intense symptoms. Your provider will discuss the symptoms and determine the best treatment for your case.
There are several treatment options to address severe menopause symptoms. Nutrition therapy and stress management are sufficient for some patients. A healthy lifestyle that incorporates a balanced diet can provide relief.
Hormone replacement therapy is another effective option that involves increasing estrogen and progesterone levels. Your provider will determine the best treatment modality based on the initial assessment. The treatment is tailored to match your unique health needs to boost your quality of life.
Contact Dr. Inga Zilberstein, MD, to schedule a consultation today.