Perimenopause and menopause are unique journeys for every woman, but maintaining an active lifestyle and seeking appropriate treatments can significantly alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life. In this video, Alessandra M. Taylor, MD, ARC Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ob/Gyn), talks about recognizing and managing the symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause, including advice on prescription and over-the-counter treatment options.
"The average age of menopause in the US is 51, with some variation. It tends to be familial, so if you know when your mom went through menopause, there's a good chance you'll experience it around the same time," says Dr. Taylor.
Watch the full video, or read the transcript below.
Hi, I'm Dr. Alessandra Taylor. I'm an Ob/Gyn at Austin Regional Clinic. Today, we're going to be talking about perimenopause and menopause.
Perimenopause, also known as the menopausal transition, is the period preceding actual menopause. Menopause occurs when you go 12 months without any periods, indicating that your ovaries have run out of hormones. I usually explain it as the time when anything that estrogen was helping you with is no longer present.
The average age of menopause in the US is 51, with some variation. It tends to be familial, so if you know when your mom went through menopause, there's a good chance you'll experience it around the same time. Common symptoms include vasomotor symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal symptoms like dryness and pain during sex.
In the years leading up to menopause, hormonal fluctuations cause increased mood changes and may lead to weight variations, making it harder to lose weight. Regarding natural remedies, there are many out there, but none have been proven to be more effective than a placebo in studies. However, active women with healthy lifestyles, good diet, and a good exercise routine, tend to have fewer symptoms during the transition.
For vaginal symptoms in perimenopause and menopause, there are various options. Estrogen is an effective treatment, available in different formulations. Vaginal moisturizers and over-the-counter preparations can also provide relief.
For night sweats and hot flashes, estrogen is a common choice. However, a newer treatment called Brisdelle, a lower dose of a depression medicine, has shown effectiveness with fewer risks than estrogen.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a great option for most women in menopause, providing benefits for various symptoms, including libido. If you're experiencing symptoms affecting your quality of life or your relationship, please see your doctor or one of our ARC Gynecologists. We're here to help you through this transition.
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Dr. Taylor has an ARC hospital-based delivery-only practice. Please see the list below for physicians and advanced practice clinicians (APCs) she recommends to new patients wanting to transfer or establish care at ARC Center Street in Kyle, TX.
- Hannah L. Chacon, MD
- Shao-Chun Rose Chang-Jackson, MD, FACOG
- Christopher S. Cowden, MD, MPH
- Gabriella G. Gloria, APRN, MSN, CNP
- Jonathan C. Saperstein, MD
- Candice R. Shipp, APRN, MSN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC