The transition to menopause is not something you can avoid. This natural process signals the end of your childbearing years and monthly periods. For some women, menopause is a breeze – they hardly notice any issues until their period stops.
For those that do experience symptoms, the menopause transition can be overwhelming. At Salem Women’s Clinic, our experienced OB/GYNs understand the impact menopause can have on your physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
We take a compassionate approach to caring for your needs and provide individualized treatment plans to help you find lasting symptom relief. Our team also values the importance of education and offers resources to help you understand what to expect on your menopause journey.
Eight symptoms of menopause
Menopause symptoms link to fluctuations in your hormone levels. As you near the end of your periods, your body slows down its production of estrogen and other reproductive hormones.
Because these hormones control many of your biological functions, a hormone imbalance can lead to symptoms you may not expect. These symptoms can include:
1. Memory lapses
Women may experience increasing forgetfulness, foggy thinking, and lapses in their memory, which can be a frustrating side effect that interferes with their job and other responsibilities.
2. Hair loss
Menopause can cause the hair on your head to thin and fall out. Your body hair may grow more slowly or become noticeably thin.
3. Mood swings
Significant shifts in mood – from happiness to depression – can occur unexpectedly. These symptoms are common in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) mood issues during their periods.
4. Vaginal dryness
The loss of estrogen can shrink your vaginal tissues (vaginal atrophy) and lead to persistent vaginal dryness, itching, and irritation. Women may also experience a loss of their natural lubrication, which can cause pain during sex.
5. Reduced sex drive
Estrogen loss can lower your desire for sex. Changes in your libido can negatively affect your relationships and self-confidence.
6. Hot flashes
Hot flashes describe sudden sensations of heat that flood your body. These flashes can occur without warning and make you feel uncomfortable, dizzy, and anxious.
Insomnia is a common side effect of menopause. This condition affects your ability to fall or stay asleep throughout the night. Sleep deprivation can lead to irritability, fatigue, and other health issues.
8. Night sweats
Night sweats describe excessive sweating during sleep. Some women may sweat so much that they soak through their night clothes and bed sheets. They can also develop insomnia and related complications because they wake up needing to change the wet linens during the night.
How to manage bothersome menopause symptoms
There’s no magic pill to address every symptom menopause causes. Our Salem Women’s Clinic providers focus on improving your overall health and can recommend individual strategies like lifestyle changes, diet improvements, and daily exercises to feel better.
If your symptoms don’t respond to these strategies, we can determine if you’re a candidate for hormone replacement therapy. We offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) that uses supplemental hormones to restore balance in your natural hormone levels.
Bioidentical hormones are structurally similar to the estrogen and other hormones your body produces naturally, except they come from yams and other plant materials. Stabilizing your hormone levels can provide relief of symptoms during your menopause transition and into your postmenopausal years.
Call Salem’s Women’s Clinic in Salem, Oregon, to schedule an evaluation for menopause symptoms or book an appointment online today.