Safe Treatments to Help You Thrive During the Transition
Menopause refers the point in life when a woman has had twelve consecutive months without a menstrual period. On average, women reach menopause around age 51. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause characterized by fluctuating hormone levels.
Perimenopause and menopause symptoms are different for everyone; they may last for anywhere from a few months, to fifteen or more years, and may include bothersome symptoms such as:
Irregular periods (during perimenopause)
Vaginal dryness and pain with sex
Insomnia and poor quality sleep
Body aches and pains
Decreased libido (sex drive)
Changes to skin and hair texture
Bladder control and urinary symptoms
THERAPIES FOR SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE & PERIMENOPAUSE
Safe and Effective Hormonal and Non-Hormonal Options Exist for Local and Systemic Symptoms
VAGINAL DRYNESS & PAIN WITH SEX
Vaginal dryness is a classic sign of the genitourinary symptoms of menopause (GSM) caused by decreased levels of estrogen in the body in the menopausal transition. The condition is also referred to vaginal atrophy: the vaginal tissues become thinner, drier, less flexible, and are more easily irritated. These changes can lead to pain during sexual intercourse, and overall discomfort, which may significantly decrease a woman's quality of life. Sexual lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, vaginal estrogen, and systemic hormone therapy are available as options for the treatment of vaginal atrophy and the irritation and pain with sex it can cause.
HOT FLASHES & NIGHT SWEATS
Hot flashes and night sweats are included among symptoms known as the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (VSM). Other vasomotor symptoms may include flushes, sweating, palpitations, and anxiety. Up to 60-80% of women will experience these symptoms, which may begin during perimenopause and persist for years into menopause. There are several factors which can influence the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. For some women, these symptoms are severe and distressing enough to require medical therapy; both hormonal and non-hormonal treatment are available.
Urinary symptoms are common during menopause and arise as a result of the drop in estrogen which leads to atrophy in the vaginal tissues. Urinary symptoms are part of the constellation of symptoms known as the genitourinary symptoms of menopause (GSM). Symptoms include the need to urinate more frequently, inability to control urination (urinary incontinence), increased urinary tract infections (UTIs), and itching and dryness in the vagina. Behavioural and lifestyle changes, moisturizers, vaginal estrogen, and systemic hormone therapy are among the treatments that can help with these disruptive urinary symptoms.
SLEEP, MOOD & COGNITIVE CHANGES
Perimenopause and menopause can be a time when women experience mental health symptoms, including mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and lack of motivation. Cognitive changes such as memory loss in the form of word-finding or minor lapses in memory can also be a challenge during this time. Insomnia and sleep disruptions are also common, which can in turn worsen mood and memory problems associated with the menopause transition. Adopting healthy lifestyle and social habits, sleep hygiene, and medical treatments are available to help relieve mood symptoms and keep your mind sharp. Get a referral for a Menopause Consult to learn more about which of these strategies might be best for you.