Menopause marks the end of your childbearing years. Some women celebrate the end of monthly bleeding while others mourn the end of their fertile years.
Officially, women enter menopause after they stop getting their period for a full year. Some women experience few symptoms during perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause when your period begins to become irregular, and through menopause. For others, menopause symptoms can disrupt their life and those around them.
Most women begin perimenopause in their late 40s and enter menopause in their early 50s, with age 51 being the average age that most women reach menopause. Symptoms, unfortunately, can last for many years, even a decade, after you’ve reached menopause. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage symptoms.
What are common menopause symptoms?
Most menopause symptoms are due to a decline in estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help regulate your menstrual cycle and play a key role in pregnancy as well as many other body functions.
As you get older, production of these hormones wanes, which brings on the start of irregular periods and other menopause-related issues.
Symptoms are different for all women and range in severity and frequency. The most common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
Non-hormonal approaches to reducing menopause symptoms
One way to remedy the loss of estrogen and progesterone is to use hormone replacement therapy. While this treatment method is effective, long-term hormone replacement use can lead to cardiovascular issues and can increase the risk of breast cancer. Fortunately, there are many non-hormonal treatments to help you reduce your symptoms.
At Park Avenue Women’s Center, the first step is education on the life changes that come with menopause, possible symptoms, and lifestyle modifications and treatment options to help you get through menopause. Some treatment options include:
Eating a healthy balanced diet, that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and reducing your intake of caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol can help reduce the severity and number of hot flashes.
Regular exercise can help combat weight gain that often goes along with menopause, which in turn can reduce the intensity of hot flashes. Research shows that losing weight is associated with less intense hot flashes. Exercise can also help improve your mood and sleep and can help reduce your risk for health conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis, both of which are associated with aging.
Quitting smoking helps reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and also may reduce the number of hot flashes. Smokers tend to experience more hot flashes than non-smokers.
MonaLisa Touch® is a laser therapy that helps stimulate the growth of vaginal walls that may have thinned out as a result of reduced estrogen production. MonaLisa Touch® can help combat many symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, painful intercourse, and incontinence.
Stress management tools
Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and mediation can help you manage stress and anxiety as well as help you sleep and focus better.
For more information on non-hormonal strategies to ease menopause symptoms, call us at Park Avenue Women’s Center or request an appointment through this website. We’re located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the Yorkville neighborhood.