For most women, menopause isn’t a sudden event. Instead, it’s a transitional period that can last months — often years — as the ovaries gradually reduce their production of reproductive hormones. When this happens, many women find themselves feeling off-kilter and wondering whether it’s their “new normal.”
Fortunately, OB/GYN Hany H. Ahmed, MD, a women’s health specialist, can help manage menopause-related symptoms so you feel like yourself again. Menopause doesn’t have to mean that your best years are behind you. Instead, Dr. Ahmed can help you continue living your life to the fullest at every phase.
Hormone replacement eases symptoms of menopause
Navigating menopause brings challenges for many women. Changes in hormones affect you both physically and emotionally. The hot flashes, night sweats and fatigue are no easier to deal with than the changes in mood, irritability, and lack of libido.
Hormone replacement therapy is a saving grace for many women experiencing the distressing symptoms of menopause. It’s time to see a doctor when you just don’t feel like yourself and menopause-related symptoms are interfering with your day to day life. Here’s how menopause can impact your life.
The dial on the scale goes up
Weight gain and menopause often go hand-in-hand. Many women find it harder to keep weight off and much easier to add a few pounds as they transition through menopause. You can add miles to your daily speed walk, or run, and even incorporate additional cardio workouts to increase your calorie burn, but that may not help. If you haven’t changed anything about your lifestyle, yet you’ve noticed the dial on the scale creeping up, it’s likely not your imagination.
Hormones play a role in maintaining lean mass and staving off excess stored fat. They also help retain bone density so that your bones are strong. When hormones are out of whack, weight gain or trouble losing weight are often challenges women going through menopause face.
Your libido takes a downturn
A satisfying sex life is a healthy part of every woman’s life, even during and after menopause. But, once estrogen levels start declining, many women notice a change in their interest in sex. Lower-than-normal estrogen levels can also cause changes in vaginal tissue. It may become thin and dry, making sex uncomfortable or even painful and reducing sexual pleasure.
You may lose hair, or it may become thin
Your crowning glory may become thinner when you enter menopause. This is caused not only by a reduction of estrogen, but also by an imbalance between estrogen and other hormones that play a role in regulating hair. Hormone replacement therapy will rebalance your androgen and stop the process of thinning hair.
You may toss and turn
Many women going through menopause find that they just aren’t sleeping like they used to. You may notice that it takes you longer to fall asleep at night. Or once asleep, you may wake up several times during the night or wake up from a full night’s sleep and feel unrested.
Nearly 50% of women report sleep disruptions in the later years of menopause. This can lead to daytime sleepiness, problems concentrating, productivity issues, and irritability. Many women who choose hormone replacement find that their sleeping habits improve.
You start to ache
Some women experience aches and pains as they sail into menopause. Joint pain is reported by as many as 60% of menopausal women. You can attribute the joint pain to the lack of cushioning, that was supported by … you guessed it…. estrogen!
Changes in lifestyle and diet can help ease joint pain. Eat less processed foods in favor of more whole foods. Kick processed sugars to the curb. Enjoy more fruits and vegetables and lean protein. We can also discuss options for hormone replacement therapy with you.
Manage your symptoms
If menopause-related symptoms are getting in the way of your quality of life, we can help. For more on how we can help you enjoy the fullness of life, even as you go through menopause, make an appointment today by calling our office or using the online booking feature.