Sometimes referred to as “the great change of life,” menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women. It marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life, and with that end comes significant changes. Its symptoms last several years and changes begin much earlier than most realize and its consequences can impact health in the remainder of post menopausal life. Many know how to identify this life change with its many external symptoms. But internally, extreme hormonal changes are leading the charge during the transition into a postmenopausal life.
Perimenopause or the Menopausal Journey
You don’t suddenly experience symptoms out of nowhere. The process begins with perimenopause, a transitionary phase. This stage usually occurs eight to ten before you go through full menopause. It usually starts during your early 40s, but some can begin experiencing symptoms in their 30s.
So what happens in perimenopausal women?
At this point, estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that control the menstrual cycle, start to fluctuate. The ovaries produce these hormones more sporadically, leading to uneven spikes and dips. Because they directly impact menstruation, periods can become hard to predict. They may be shorter or longer, and women sometimes experience cycles where they don’t release an egg. In short, the work of the ovaries becomes unreliable and unpredictable.
As you can imagine, hormonal shifts can wreak havoc on your body. It’s not just your reproductive system that becomes unpredictable. Perimenopausal women often go through sleepless nights, noticeable mood changes, and hot flashes that come out of nowhere. Other possible symptoms include:
- Painful intercourse
- Increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Bone loss
- Changing cholesterol levels
- Hair loss
- Fertility issues
- Changing libido
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Perimenopausal women will continue dealing with unpredictable hormone production until they hit menopause. Perimenopause is officially over when it’s been 12 months since the last period.
At this point, hormonal changes are less sporadic. The ovaries no longer produce an egg, and the constant fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone levels is over. Instead of jumping all over the place, these hormones and testosterone are at their lowest level yet. The body still produces the hormones, but they’re at a deficient levels.
Despite having a little more stability, the lack of hormones like estrogen still causes many problems. Many of the standard systems you see in perimenopausal women occur. For example, hot flashes and trouble sleeping often persist. But outside of those issues, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Vaginal dryness
- Dry skin
- Night sweats
- Joint and muscle aches
- Memory lapse
- Racing heartbeat
- Hair loss
- Significantly reduced sex drive
Mood problems can continue to be a problem as well. Many menopausal women suffer from depression, erratic mood swings, and irritability.
Heart and Bone Problems:
Among the many organs benefiting from the ovarian hormone production, our heart and bones are the most crucial to our health. Hormonal fluctuations in perimenopause and menopause increase the risk of heart attacks 10x risks prior. Bone loss also increases dramatically due to hormonal insufficiency and bone fractures become a serious issue during the menopausal years. These conditions are the most common cause of mortality and disability in menopausal years.
Should You Contact a Doctor?
Dr. Tahery specializes in working with nature to optimize your health during perimenopause and menopause. Dr. Tahery as a urogynecologist and female hormonal specialist has been helping women navigate the health and quality of life issues in these crucial years for the past 26 years.
RELATED: Menopause and Bio-Identical Hormones
Perimenopause and Menopause Treatment
Menopause is inevitable, and there’s no way to prevent it from occurring. However, there are many options for treating the many conditions affecting the health and quality of life.
Hormone therapy is a way to address what’s going on inside the body directly. During the perimenopausal stage, your testosterone, estrogen and progesterone levels are all over the place. Hormone therapy can provide more balance and increase low hormone levels before, during, and after menopause bringing health and improving quality of life.
More and more we realize the potential in safe and effective methods of hormone therapy. Studies show significant benefit in women using hormones to counter the changes brought by lack of hormones in their body. Early use of hormones has shown to be most beneficial in supporting the heart and bone health and the many other issues that come with menopause.
Dr.Tahery specializes and is experienced in using the multiple ways of delivering hormones that are appropriate for each individual.
Anxiety and Stress
Perimenopause and menopause is also a time of significant personal and social change. Teenage children, (do I need to say more?) work issues, relationship changes, loss or elderly parents are some of the environmental factors many encounter. Therefore, Anxiety and stress are common symptoms many women deal with and they are crucial to be addressed.
Dr. Tahery will work with you to find the proper treatment through mind and body care.
Dr. Tahery understands that each woman experiences perimenopause and menopause differently. Depending on the needs of your body, we recommend lifestyle changes to improve your health.
One of the most common complaints in perimenopause and menopause is weight gain and reduced metabolism. Exercise and menopausal diet is one of the core principle of perimenopause and menopausal health.
Dr. Tahery works with expert dieticians and therapists when needed to optimize health and well-being.
Whether you’re struggling with the impact of early perimenopause or deep in a change of life, don’t hesitate to contact the offices of Dr. Michael Tahery. As an expert Urogynecologist and female hormone specialist with many years of experience in Los Angeles, Dr. Tahery has the expertise to help you through this transition. Reach out today to schedule your appointment.