If you’re like most women, you’re prepared for hot flashes and mood swings at menopause, but you may not expect severe symptoms that make it impossible to sleep, and no one ever talks about painful intercourse after menopause. The doctors at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology can help you through all the changes you’ll encounter before, during, and after menopause. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Flushing, New York, or use the online booking feature.
Before menopause, you go through a transitional time called perimenopause. During perimenopause, which lasts about four years, your hormone levels begin to fluctuate. Most women enter perimenopause in their mid-to-late 40s.
On average, women reach menopause at the age of 52. At menopause, your ovaries stop releasing eggs and estrogen production severely declines. You’ll know you’re in menopause when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.
Menopausal symptoms can begin during perimenopause and continue well into your postmenopausal years. Some women experience few or mild symptoms, while others can’t sleep due to frequent and severe hot flashes.
In your transitional years, fluctuating hormones can lead to irregular periods and classic menopausal symptoms. At menopause, you may experience symptoms such as:
It’s estimated that nearly half of all women develop another problem after menopause: vaginal atrophy.
Estrogen is essential for vaginal health. When its levels drop, vaginal tissues become dry, thin, and fragile. Blood supply and lubrication in the vagina also diminish. These changes create a condition called vaginal atrophy. Problems such as painful intercourse, vaginal burning, and bleeding after intercourse develop because of vaginal atrophy.
Just as estrogen maintains vaginal health, it also regulates many tissues throughout your body. As a result, you have a higher chance of developing:
Your doctor at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology can screen for menopause-related concerns and talk with you about prevention and treatment.
If your symptoms are mild, your doctor at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology can give you some lifestyle tips to help you manage the discomfort. Vaginal dryness may be relieved with over-the-counter lubricants or a prescription for topical estrogen.
You may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which restores normal levels of estrogen. HRT stops menopausal symptoms, reverses vaginal atrophy, and helps prevent chronic conditions like osteoporosis.
No matter what health concerns you have throughout menopause, your doctor at Bayard Obstetrics & Gynecology is here to help. Schedule an appointment by calling or using the online booking feature.