Ageing is, unfortunately, one of the things we cannot avoid the more we live. Ageing signs can manifest in different ways. Women experience menopause once they are at the end of their childbearing years. Although this transition comes with some unexpected and uncomfortable symptoms, the good news is that they can be managed.
If you are experiencing the side effects of this period, a menopause doctor might help you navigate through this phase. Learn more about menopause and when to speak with a doctor about it.
What is Menopause?
It is a phase in a woman’s life when she stops getting her periods permanently. It can start between 40 and 50, but some people have reported it as early as 38 years. During this period, the ovaries do not produce eggs, so the uterine lining doesn’t need to shed anything, and oestrogen production significantly decreases. But please note that even if you have spotted signs of menopause, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of your reproductive life. Knowing this is important, so you don’t feel a sense of loss and devastation.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Menopause may manifest in different ways depending on the person. The most common sign is missing your period for more than a year when you are between the ages mentioned above. Other than a missed period, you may experience other signs and symptoms that signal menopause. These include:
- Hot Flashes- menopause can make the upper part of your body get suddenly hot. You may even sweat and then experience chills. These are called hot flashes and can last a few seconds to minutes.
- Mood swings- menopause causes progesterone and estrogen levels to change drastically. As that happens, a person may experience severe mood swings. This is especially true in people who’ve experienced PMS or depression before.
- Change in Sleep Patterns- a person may have a problem falling or staying asleep at the onset of perimenopause. For this reason, doctors advise minimising or avoiding caffeine altogether and increasing your workout.
- Vaginal Dryness- this is a common symptom reported as our bodies change. Also, you may be more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
- Memory Deficiencies- memory changes are expected as we age. But during perimenopause and menopause, you may notice memory lapses. It may be hard to focus or remember things.
Should You See a Doctor for Menopause?
Well, that depends on how severe your symptoms are. Some people hardly notice these menopausal symptoms. But in some women, they are very severe and may therefore want to visit a doctor to rule out other conditions.
If your period has stopped and you don’t struggle with menopausal symptoms, you may not need to consult a doctor. But, it’s wise to speak to a doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms and are not above forty years. Other hormonal conditions like primary ovarian insufficiency may produce similar symptoms as menopause. So, you need to see a doctor to rule out these conditions.
Additionally, people who experience unexpected symptoms should see a doctor. If you have dizziness, anxiety, and weight gain along with traditional menopause symptoms, please see a GP.
What Treatments Are Available?
Your doctor can offer moral support to help you cope with menopause. But, they can also recommend at-home treatments to try during this period. These include hormone therapy to help regulate mood swings and other changes to your hormones that occur during menopause. But please remember that this therapy comes with some side effects. So talk to your doctor to decide if they are worth trying.
You may also be prescribed oral contraceptives. Although you are not in your childbearing years, your doctor can recommend birth control pills to regulate hormones and prevent hot flashes. You may also get medication for vaginal dryness, anxiety and depression.
Going through menopause can be a frustrating experience. Talk to Oster Health today for any questions and concerns on navigating this phase.