No one has to tell you about the many annoying symptoms of menopause — you’re experiencing them up close and personal. But you may be at your wit’s end trying to figure out how to cope, and you’re not alone.
At its core, menopause is a hormonal issue, and hormones are our specialty. At The Endocrine Center in Houston, Texas, we offer a full lineup of services that help keep your endocrine system running in top condition.
When you begin experiencing menopause symptoms, you can count on our team to help you manage the physical and emotional effects so you can breeze through the change of life with ease. Here’s how we can help with those miserable menopause symptoms.
Menopause and its symptoms often get lumped into one category, but this transition occurs in three stages with distinctly different meanings but blurry boundaries.
Before you enter menopause, you undergo perimenopause, the prequel, so to speak. It may help to think of perimenopause as the reverse process of puberty. In your teen years, you experienced a surge of hormones and went through some physical, mental, and emotional changes that took awhile to get used to.
Perimenopause triggers the beginning of a hormonal decline, and once again, your body goes through changes and needs to adjust. This stage can begin as early as your mid-30s but typically kicks in around age 45, and it can last 4-8 years.
During perimenopause, your ovaries slow down their production of estrogen and progesterone, making your menstrual cycles irregular and setting off a flood of bothersome symptoms. Eventually, your periods stop altogether — at that point, you’ve entered menopause.
After 12 consecutive months of no menstruation, you’ve completed the menopause stage.
At the end of a full year of menopause, you enter the final stage, post-menopause, which lasts for the rest of your life.
You can experience the ramifications of lower hormone levels as soon as perimenopause hits and well into post-menopause. Every woman experiences symptoms in different combinations and at varying degrees, but most go through them at some point. The most common are:
Some women tolerate these symptoms well, but many find the disruption unbearable. That’s where we come in.
You can handle mild menopause symptoms by making a few lifestyle changes. For example, you can lessen the frequency and intensity of hot flashes by avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, and hot environments. You can ease painful sex by using a vaginal lubricant.
However, if your symptoms are out of hand and diminishing your quality of life, it’s time to seek our professional help. We start by checking your hormone levels to determine your precise needs, and we talk to you at length about what you’re going through.
Depending on your circumstances, we may recommend medications to ease the symptoms of depression, weight gain, and hot flashes. Or we may recommend hormone replacement therapy to restore your hormonal balance and reduce all of your symptoms with a single treatment.
There’s no cookie-cutter approach to coping with menopause symptoms, so we create a customized plan that addresses your individual needs. Call us at any of our three Houston-area locations, or request an appointment online, and don’t let menopause symptoms make you miserable any longer.