Most people are familiar with the basic concept of menopause, but not everyone knows that it can affect a woman’s life and health in many different, sometimes difficult ways.
The symptoms of menopause are vast and varied. And even though every woman eventually goes through menopause, it is still a topic some people don’t feel comfortable talking about. For one thing, symptoms are often deeply personal. Menopause also marks a huge transition in a woman’s life, which can take an emotional toll. And societal influences around treatment can make going through menopause even more complicated. Dr. Vahora wants every woman to know she does not have to suffer in silence.
She practices precision medicine, looking at each woman as a whole and tailoring a treatment plan just for her. Since people experience different combinations of symptoms, there is no one approach that works for every woman. For some women, the primary concern might be hot flashes. For others, it could be vaginal dryness and how menopause is affecting their sex lives.
At her warm, welcoming practice, Dr. Vahora will talk to you openly about your experiences. Then she’ll help you navigate all your options, designing a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle and addresses your unique set of concerns. With Dr. Vahora, you don’t have to go through menopause alone.
Common Questions about Menopause
What are the signs that menopause is starting?
The most common signs of menopause are hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability. The lack of estrogen in a woman’s body can cause weight gain and fatigue. Some women also experience what’s known as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), which can include vaginal dryness, pain, itching, irritation, or pain with intimacy. Vulvovaginal atrophy, the thinning and loss of tissue, can lead to more frequent urinary tract infections, vaginal irritation, bleeding after sex, or pain after sex.
What age does menopause start?
Menopause is defined as going one year without periods. The average age of menopause onset in the United States is 52. Perimenopause, which is the transition into menopause, can begin as early as a woman’s late 30s or early 40s.
How is menopause diagnosed?
Menopause is diagnosed with a clinical evaluation by a doctor, and it can be confirmed with lab tests. While some companies offer home-test kits, few of them are reputable. Because the symptoms of menopause are different for each woman, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and to get help creating an individualized treatment plan that will address all of your needs.
How long will menopause last?
Every woman is different. Some may experience symptoms for a few years, while others could experience symptoms for 20 to 30 years. Since we don’t know how long menopause will last and a person’s symptoms can change over time, Dr. Vahora offers many treatment options, allowing each patient to choose what’s right for them, and adapting with changes over time.
How is menopause treated?
Dr. Vahora offers a wide range of treatment options, including hormonal and nonhormonal treatment, and prescription and nonprescription medicines. Through her practice of precision medicine, Dr. Vahora will talk with you about your concerns and needs, and will personalize treatment just for you.
For patients experiencing hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability, hormone therapy is one common treatment. Dr. Vahora offers bioidentical hormones, which are molecularly identical to the hormones your body makes and are more easily absorbed. Depending on your needs, these hormones can either be regular, pharmacy-grade medications, or they can be personalized and compounded specifically for you by a pharmacist.
The drop in estrogen that occurs during menopause can result in vaginal dryness and vulvovaginal atrophy, in which the tissue becomes thin and dry. For women experiencing vaginal symptoms, Dr. Vahora offers several options. Local hormone therapy can be used to release small doses of estrogen into the vaginal tissue via creams, gel, or a ring.
Another option, the MonaLisa Touch, is a painless, minimally invasive procedure that restores and revitalizes both the vulva and the vagina, reducing pain and dryness.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the transition into menopause. It can start as early as the late 30s or early 40s and is associated with light periods, shorter periods, and skipped periods. Heavy flow or more periods can be a sign of another gynecological problem and should be discussed with a doctor.
What should women who are close to menopausal age do before it starts?
The best things a woman can do to help minimize problems associated with menopause are to exercise, eat healthy foods, and quit smoking. Smokers go through menopause sooner and can have more symptoms.
If you’re in perimenopause, the MonaLisa Touch is a great option because it will help prevent the labia tissue from breaking down.
It’s also important to start doing Kegel exercises in order to keep muscles from getting weak. If you want instructions on how to do Kegel exercises, sign up here to get more information from Dr. Vahora.
When should women see a doctor about menopause?
Women should see a gynecologist every year for general health, and Dr. Vahora will help you determine whether menopause may be starting. But if you have a problem or notice something new, don’t hesitate to go in sooner than your annual exam.