Understanding Menopause Symptoms

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woman-menopause-symptomsFrom puberty, childbirth, and menopause, women’s bodies go through a lot of change during the course of their lives. It’s hard to know what’s normal and what’s a sign of serious health problems. Menopause symptoms that seem abnormal could be ordinary while others could be the body’s manifestation of something more. Understanding menopause symptoms could help catch health concerns early on.

Understanding Stages of Menopause

Pre-menopause vs. perimenopause symptoms

The phrase “pre-menopause” is sometimes used to describe perimenopause but these are two separate stages of the menopausal journey. Pre-menopause occur in women in their late 30’s to early 40’s. Periods will be business as usual, occurring every month. Estrogen and progesterone levels will start to shift but not enough to grab your attention.

Perimenopause is the stage right before menopause. Estrogen levels drop low enough to start affecting the body. Some women will experience:

  • Sporadic periods: For most women, periods will occur every two to five months. Some women will have regular periods, while this is not abnormal it is unusual
  • Vaginal dryness: It is safe and recommended to use a lubricant during sexual activity
  • Trouble sleeping: Insomnia and night sweats are uncomfortable but expected
  • Mood changes: Hormone levels change rapidly while the reproductive system shuts, inevitably affecting emotions
  • Physical changes: Breasts appear to have shrunk while hair may start to thin out and skin loses its moisture

Even though these symptoms are normal, it’s still important to schedule regular doctor visits during perimenopause. Preventative care like a colonoscopy, mammography, and Pap smear are recommended.

Menopause symptoms

Menopause is considered the absence of a period for one year. Menopause symptoms include:

  • Urinary incontinence: Weakness in the pelvic floor causes uncontrolled urination during stress or physical movement
  • Vaginal dryness: Caused by the changing nature of collagen in vaginal walls
  • Loss of sex drive: Associated with physical changes combined with hormones changes
  • Vaginal laxity: Women and their partners report a “looseness” in the vaginal area following menopause

Vaginal bleeding after menopause, one year without a period, needs to be checked out by a doctor. It could be a warning sign of cervical cancer.

There are several options for treatment of menopause symptoms, including:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy: Although it may be effective for some women, there is a risk of blood clots, heart conditions, and breast cancer
  • Vaginal Rejuvenation: FemiLift is a safer alternative for treating menopause symptoms

Contact NVSCC for Postmenopausal Care

Menopause doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life and confidence. Contact Nevada Surgery & Cancer Care today if you’ve received an abnormal Pap smear or to find out how our FemiLift procedure can improve life after menopause.

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