What is Menopause?

Menopause is a naturally occurring biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is further defined as the point in time when your period permanently stops for 12 months. This typically occurs between the ages of 45-55, but women who have never had children or those who are smokers may begin menopause up to two years earlier.

In the years leading up to menopause, between the mid-late 40s, women may also begin experiencing symptoms. This transitional period is called perimenopause. It typically begins about four years before menopause but can start up to ten years prior.

 Symptoms that begin during perimenopause and continue or worsen throughout menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Low energy
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Low libido
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Slowed metabolism
  • Disruption of sleep
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog

Menopause Treatment Options

Treatment options for menopause can be started as soon as symptoms begin and continued for up to 10 years after menopause is complete. After menopause, the ovaries no longer produce estrogen, and this can cause continuing menopausal symptoms and additional health risks like osteoporosis and heart disease. The following treatment options can be considered to ease uncomfortable symptoms of menopause for women during this transitional period.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy can be administered in the form of topical creams, patches, sprays, oral medications, or pellets. Vaginal estrogen therapy can also be administered in the form of a ring inserted into the vagina, a dissolvable tablet, or creams. Replenishing estrogen will help to rebalance hormone levels and reduce the severity of symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

Vaginal Rejuvenation

For women who prefer non-hormonal treatments, we offer a variety of rejuvenating treatment options. These therapies can be used alone or in combination with hormone treatments.

MonaLisa Touch® uses laser energy for skin resurfacing to restore the health of the vaginal tissue. Radiofrequency energy used by ThermiVa®  helps with vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, and increases sexual satisfaction.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or the O-shot® can also improve vaginal dryness and assist with painful sex. PRP injections are administered to the vaginal area to stimulate tissue regeneration and renew healthy vaginal tissues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the first signs of menopause?

Signs of oncoming menopause can begin in the months or even years leading up to it. You might begin to experience irregular periods as one of the first signs of menopause. They may become light, heavy, long, short, or more or less frequent.

Does the beginning of menopause end your periods?

You’re considered menopausal when you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Although it’s possible to still have spotting or incidents of bleeding, you will generally stop having periods once you hit menopause.

At what age does menopause usually start?

Menopause can begin as early as your 40s, but on average, most women experience menopause closer to age 50. You may experience a phase called perimenopause, which can affect women as early as their 30s.

Does menopause cause weight gain?

Weight gain is common in menopausal women because of the changes in hormone levels. You may find it harder to lose weight, too.

What exactly happens during menopause?

Menopause indicates a change in your body’s hormone levels that results in a cessation of your normal menstrual cycles. At this point, the production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries may begin to fall.

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