Menopause can be a challenging time for an aging woman: Hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain are just a few symptoms. But equally important are the effects of menopause that a woman does not feel, which are dangerous to her health and well being. As a board-certified, fellowship-trained gynecologist, Dr. Rafael Haciski, MD, FACOG offers bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to help women in Naples, Florida address the challenges of menopause. If you’re experiencing uncomfortable menopause symptoms, call Advanced Gynecology or book an appointment online.
Menopause is the next stage in a woman’s life, after the reproductive years. The transition into menopause is called the climacteric, and may last from few months to few years. Once in menopause, the woman will remain in that state for the rest of her life (there is no post-menopause). In menopause, women no longer ovulate or experience menstrual periods. Besides no longer being able to bear children, women can expect their bodies to produce no more estrogen or progesterone, and will suffer all the negative effects of that lack of estrogen and progesterone. Some of those effects are bothersome affecting her quality of life, other effects may shorten her longevity.
If you haven't had a period for 12 consecutive months, you're menopausal. Menopause doesn't occur at a certain age, but most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.
Every woman has her own unique experience with menopause, but common symptoms include:
Not all women experience these symptoms or any symptoms at all. If you’re experiencing severe menopausal symptoms, Dr. Haciski may do a blood test to check your hormone levels and determine the best treatment plan for you.
While those may be the common symptoms, more importantly there are other effects of lack of estrogen that are silent, but more dangerous in the long run. Those include negative changes to the vascular system decreasing blood flow to the brain or the heart (increasing the risk of heart attacks), loss of bone strength (osteoporosis) with increased risk in fractures and resultant death from complications (hip fracture in menopause carries with it a 20-30% risk of death from direct complications of the fracture and treatment).
Hormone levels decrease naturally over time; however, after menopause, your body stops producing estrogen. As a result, your risk for osteoporosis increases, as does your risk for heart disease. Some women may also notice worsened vision or reduced bladder control. The list of negative effects is long.
Dr. Haciski often recommends hormone replacement therapy, including bioidentical hormone replacement, to manage menopause symptoms and any associated risks. Hormone replacement methods vary based on your needs. Appropriate treatment may include transdermal creams or patches, oral medication, or sublingual tablets.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a natural way to restore your body chemistry and supplement your decreased levels of estrogen and, in some cases, progesterone. Because bioidentical hormones closely mirror the hormones produced by your own body, you can expect a return to balance and relief of many menopause-related symptoms and conditions.
If you’re looking for ways to manage your menopause symptoms, call the office or request an appointment online with Dr. Haciski today.