Warning Signs of Menopause

Are you closing in on what your mother probably called balefully, “the change?” The average American woman starts menopause at around age 51, but you can start earlier or later by about ten years and still be in the “normal range.”

At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, our team of compassionate board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologists and Certified Nurse Midwives provide comprehensive women’s health care, including support through menopause.

Hormone depletion 

As estrogen production tapers off, you start to see the symptoms of menopause. The most commonly talked about symptoms are hot flashes and night sweats, but reduced hormones in your body can cause many other symptoms you may not immediately recognize as linked to menopause.

Putting on pounds 

Dropping estrogen levels can change how your body processes and stores fat. If you’re still active and eating healthy but start to notice weight gain reflected in abdominal padding and extra weight around your hips, it could be caused by menopause.

Osteoporosis woes

Many people don’t realize that their hormone levels help keep their bones strong and solid. As estrogen levels decrease, you can start to lose bone density, and your bones will become more porous (osteoporosis). Dropping estrogen level-induced bone loss is why women are four times more likely to break bones as they age than when they were younger.  

Depression and mood swings

Lowered estrogen levels are also linked to depression in post-menopausal women. Apparently, the hormone depletion can cause serotonin (a neurotransmitter) levels to take a dive, causing bouts of depression and mood swings.

Go away, UTI!

Dropping estrogen levels can cause thinning of the tissue in the urethra. This makes it more likely you’ll get a localized bacterial issue, like a urinary tract infection. Women overall report more UTIs after menopause.

Sexy-times aren’t as fun

Less estrogen equals less lubrication and reduced vaginal tissue elasticity. These changes can lead to dry, uncomfortable, high-friction sex, making you want to swear off of romance. Women with vaginal dryness can use artificial lubrication, but may need extra help to regain their mojo.    

Treating menopause symptoms

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications to help you feel healthier, such as a better diet, giving up smoking, or improving your sleep cycles. These changes can help alleviate some symptoms, but many women need more help.

Medicating with oral estrogen or progesterone pills or patches helps some women. If needed, your doctor can prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT). You can also use intravaginal creams to help relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness and improve skin laxity.  

FemiLift™ 

FemiLift is a fractionated CO2 laser procedure used to treat vaginal discomfort and dryness. The laser beam acts gently and effectively on atrophic vaginal tissues, promoting cellular regeneration and improving blood flow for better elasticity and higher levels of natural lubrication.   

Need more information about menopause or hormone depletion? Call our office at 608-218-4835 today, or schedule a consultation using our online booking system.

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