Hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, lack of sex drive — for women undergoing the physical and emotional changes that may accompany menopause, our caring physicians offer relief through hormone replacement therapy as well as nutritional and lifestyle guidance. Our OB/GYN experts, serving Long Beach, California, and the greater Orange County area, have decades of experience helping women comfortably and confidently navigate this transition to an empowering new phase of their lives.
What is menopause?
Menopause marks the end of the reproductive phase of your life and is signaled by at least 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. Menopause occurs because your ovaries have stopped making estrogen, the hormone that signals your body to start its monthly menstrual cycle.
Menopause is preceded by a phase called perimenopause, which can begin as early as your 30s or 40s. As you age and your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone, your periods become more irregular.
It’s important to note that during perimenopause and menopause it is still possible to become pregnant if you have unprotected sex. Most women go through menopause between the ages of 48 and 55.
How can I tell if I’m in menopause?
During both the perimenopausal and menopausal phases, fluctuations in hormones may cause symptoms that can interfere with your quality of life. Some common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Weakened bladder muscles (incontinence)
- Disinterest in sex
What are the treatments for menopause?
Menopause is a natural condition that requires no treatment. But if you are suffering from any of the symptoms that can accompany this new phase of life and its hormonal fluctuations, the experts at MemorialCare can help. They offer nutritional and lifestyle guidance, as well as symptom management through medications such as:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): an oral therapy that can stabilize symptoms and prevent bone loss, particularly if started at the beginning of menopause
- Vaginal estrogen: a topical cream that can alleviate vaginal dryness and increase the comfort of sexual intercourse
- Gabapentin or clonidine: medications that can help control night sweats and hot flashes
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements: can help prevent bone loss if you have or are at risk for osteoporosis
- Antidepressants: not only boost your mood, but can also increase energy levels and manage hot flashes
Menopause can be an exciting time of change. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are causing you discomfort or distress, there is no reason to “power through” the pain. The MemorialCare OB/GYN specialists have spent decades guiding women just like you through this important transition period.