For the average woman, the beginning of middle age marks the start of a decline in fertility that eventually leads to menopause. Although the end of a woman’s fertility typically comes with a variety of unwanted symptoms and health changes, advances in medical care make it possible to manage them effectively. From her top-rated women’s health practice in Dumfries, Virginia, Dr. Zerline Chambers-Kersey offers comprehensive menopause support to help her patients stay active and age comfortably. If you’re in the Prince William County area, call or book your appointment online today.
Menopause begins with the natural decline of estrogen and progesterone, the female reproductive hormones that control menstruation and make pregnancy possible.
Your ovaries begin releasing lower levels of these hormones by the time you’re in your late 30s, but menopause doesn’t usually occur until a woman reaches her late 40s or early 50s. The average age for menopause in the United States is 51.
Officially, menopause begins one year after your final menstrual cycle. For women who undergo a total hysterectomy, or surgery that removes the uterus and both ovaries, menopause starts without any kind of transitional phase.
Although menopause does represent the end of fertility, it doesn’t have to take a toll on your health, vitality, or sexuality.
During perimenopause, or the months or years of transition into menopause, you may experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms related to the diminishing levels of reproductive hormones, including:
For many women, the physical symptoms of menopause may also give rise to feelings of sadness or loss.
Menopause increases your risk of developing certain health problems. Osteoporosis is one of the biggest health concerns because lower estrogen levels can lead to a rapid loss of bone density and increase your risk of bone fractures.
Lower estrogen levels also make you more prone to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in all adults. Urinary incontinence and significant weight gain are other common health complications associated with menopause.
Options include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or the supplementation of reproductive hormones that your body is no longer making.
Low-dose systemic estrogen, available in pill form, skin patch, gel, cream, or spray, can help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats, boost energy and mood, and improve sleep.
Low-dose systemic estrogen, which comes in the form of a pill, skin patch, gel, cream, or spray, can help relieve hot flashes and night sweats, boost energy and mood, and improve sleep.
Non-hormonal treatments are designed to address specific symptoms or issues, such as frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), incontinence, vaginal dryness, mood issues, or insomnia.
Dr. Chambers-Kersey offers MonaLisa Touch®, a state-of-the-art laser therapy designed to rejuvenate vaginal tissues, to help menopausal women affected by vaginal dryness and chronic UTIs.