Menopause is a normal part of the aging process for women. The monthly rise of and fall of estrogen and progesterone hormones becomes less regular, and hormone levels settle at low levels. At this point, ovulation and menstruation stop, and menopause occurs.
Once a woman has gone one year without having periods, she is considered postmenopausal. The average age is 51, but women who smoke tend to reach menopause an average of two years earlier.
Dignity Health Southern California is dedicated to caring for women throughout all stages of life, with focused attention and respect for your individual needs and personal choices. Find a Doctor and visit one of our welcoming locations to learn more about our approach to menopause treatment in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and in Inland Empire cities, San Bernardino, Fontana, and Highland.
What Causes Menopause?
Natural menopause usually starts with perimenopause, a period of transition that can last up to eight years. Physical changes begin in perimenopause, including symptoms of menopause.
Some women experience menopause due to a medical treatment or surgery. This is called induced menopause. It has many of the same symptoms as natural menopause, but it can feel more intense.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Each woman experiences menopause differently, but common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Decreased sexual desire or response
- Vaginal dryness and painful sex
- Osteoporosis (thinning bones)
Menopause Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Our doctors focus on relieving symptoms to improve your quality of life. Hormone replacement therapy is effective at easing symptoms, but it isn’t right for every woman. Whether it’s right for you depends on your personal and family medical history.
Many other strategies can help you manage symptoms and stay healthy:
- Use small fans and sip cold drinks during hot flashes
- Dress in layers
- Set a nighttime routine and sleep schedule
- Use a fan at night, keep your room cool, and have an ice pack on hand for night sweats
- Take medications other than hormones to ease symptoms, such as antidepressant medications to help with mood swings
- Learn techniques for relaxation and stress management for anxiety and mood changes
- Use vaginal lubricants and moisturizers for vaginal dryness
- Get regular sexual stimulation to help maintain vaginal health and blood flow
- Find out your bone density status and work with your doctor to maintain bone health
- Get regular exercise
- Eat healthy
- Maintain a healthy weight
Your Dignity Health Southern California doctor will partner with you throughout your menopause experience to understand how well treatment is working and make adjustments as you need them.
Dignity Health offers the latest menopause treatment in Southern California, as part of our women’s health services.