The time period before and after menopause is different for every woman. Some women experience very few symptoms, while others are plagued with mood swings, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness.
There are many ways a doctor can help manage symptoms. “We will develop a plan based on what your goal for treatment is,” says Sara A. Lorenz, MD, FACOG, obstetrician and gynecologist, Saint Francis Medical Partner. “We may not be able to eliminate your symptoms completely, but we can make you much more comfortable.”
- Dress in layers so you can remove some of them when you experience a hot flash.
- Keep a fan close at hand.
- Some women can use menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), which involves taking estrogen and progesterone to balance the declining hormones in the body. However, using MHT does carry a risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and breast cancer. “Some patients do respond well to it.” says Lorenz. “We start at a very low dose and limit the amount of time the patient is taking it. Research shows that patients who use low doses for a short amount of time have a decreased risk of additional health problems.”
- Stay physically active.
- See a therapist or join a support group.
- If you think you may be experiencing depression, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking antidepressants.
- For an all-natural approach, olive oil can be a good option.
- Vaginal estrogen creams.
“While hormone therapy can relieve many symptoms of menopause, we always are very cautious when using it,” says Lorenz.
To make an appointment with Lorenz, call 573-331-3000.