Menopause is one of the major turning points in a woman's life. The period of time leading up to menopause involves a process of change--and every woman experiences this transition in unique and individual ways.
Many women are enthusiastic about reaching menopause, as it can be a time of freedom from the concerns of pregnancy and PMS. However, some women dread reaching menopause. To these women, menopause can feel like a burden that makes them unattractive, lonely, helpless, and useless. They may mourn the loss of their fertility and youth. Pre-menopausal and menopausal women may experience a wide range of feelings, from anxiety and discomfort to release and relief.
In menopause, several things occur:
- Estrogen production drops dramatically
- Periods stop
- Effects of estrogen loss may be experienced (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness are common)
- Long-term effects of estrogen loss (osteoporosis becomes a concern)
There are many ways to treat menopause, including, but not limited to: diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and hormone replacement therapy.
Many women have questions about using hormone replacement therapy after the recent halting of the Women's Health Initiative study on combined estrogen and progestin use in healthy postmenopausal women.
If you are thinking about beginning hormone replacement therapy, or have been taking it and have concerns, please schedule an appointment and our providers will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy in great detail.
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