Menopause and the multiple changes associated with it is an area of gynecology that I am very interested in and have considerable experience with. This is one of my favorite things to take care of and comprises a large part of my practice.
Menopause is an old fashioned term that a hundred years ago simply meant the time when a woman stopped menstruating and could no longer get pregnant.
A more modern term, ” peri-menopause “denotes the several years preceding menopause and associated changes which can be troublesome to many women.
Today we understand that “peri-menopause” and the subsequent cessation of menstruation is only one aspect of a complicated physiologic process that has both short term and long term consequences.
The traditional “hot flashes” of menopause are not experienced by all women and some other symptoms ( primarily related to changes in brain chemistry) are actually as common or more common than the hot flashes.These other symptoms are disturbed sleep and associated fatigue, increased joint pains or headache, vaginal dryness and decreased interest in sexual relations.
Some of the long term consequences of menopause are initially”silent” and show up many years later, the most obvious example of this would be osteoporosis. Osteoporosis kills more American women today than breast cancer and is a leading cause of nursing home admissions. Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable.
The time of transition through menopause is an opportunity to protect your long term health and well being. I encourage you to consult with a gynecologist as you enter menopause.