Menopause in Leesburg
Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Centreville, VA & Leesburg, VA
Menopause is a normal process identified by the aging of the female reproductive system. Many women going through this stage of life experience uncomfortable symptoms and physical changes. It is important to remember that you do not have to suffer through this process. If you are beginning to experience symptoms of menopause in Leesburg, Midatlantic OBGYN is here to answer any of your questions. We could help you successfully manage many symptoms of menopause to lessen your discomfort and optimize your wellbeing.
Stages of Menopause
The average age for menopause is 51, but there is no set age at which this process begins or ends for every woman. Instead, the reproductive system gradually slows down over two to ten years. As ovulation becomes less frequent, fewer hormones like estrogen and progesterone are released into the body. These fluctuations in hormone levels and menstrual cycles will look a little different for everyone, but there are three general phases of menopause that each woman will experience.
Perimenopause is the name for the transitional time, typically beginning in the mid-to late-40s, when fertility gradually begins to decline. Pregnancy is still possible, but the ovaries release eggs less regularly, and menstrual cycles will become longer and more inconsistent. Estrogen levels will fluctuate but generally decrease as time goes on.
In addition to irregular menses, women in perimenopause may begin to experience symptoms like decreased sexual libido, trouble concentrating, and night sweats. Other symptoms may be very similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings, headaches, and body aches.
Menopause is officially diagnosed when there has not been a menstrual period for twelve months. The ovaries stop releasing eggs for fertilization and manufacturing high levels of estrogen and progesterone. If this occurs before age 45, it is considered early menopause.
In addition to the symptoms experienced during perimenopause, as the reproductive system further slows down, women may experience brain fog, hair loss or thinning hair, and urinary difficulties. Hot flashes are one of the most frequently reported symptoms of menopause, during which women in Leesburg or Centreville may experience a brief sensation of heat, sweating, and a flushed face.
After menopause, many women find that the associated symptoms begin to ease. Hormone levels will no longer be fluctuating. Many women notice positive changes related to the freedom from menstrual cycle symptoms or worries about pregnancy.
Managing Menopause Symptoms in Leesburg
While the symptoms of menopause can sometimes be unpleasant to many women in Leesburg and Centreville, the good news is that there are ways to relieve them. One option is hormone therapy. Antidepressant medications can also help with mood symptoms and insomnia.
Whether or not to pursue hormone replacement therapy during menopause is a highly individualized decision. Clinicians can either administer estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progesterone. Hormone therapy can alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause but does carry some risks, such as blood clots or certain types of cancer.
Changes to the diet and lifestyle can also help reduce menopause symptoms. For example, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods can trigger hot flashes, so reducing consumption of these foods may help. Eating increased plant sources of estrogen, called phytoestrogens, may also help. Regular exercise can help improve sleep and mood.
Contact a Leesburg OBGYN to Discuss Your Menopause Symptoms
If you are looking for help with menopause in Leesburg, our practice has years of experience in successfully managing symptoms and restoring our patients’ quality of life. We could offer a variety of treatment options and explain what you should expect throughout this process. For more information, call today and schedule an initial consultation.