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How Menopause Changes Your Body (And How We Can Help)

Jun 01, 2022
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Just like puberty, menopause brings with it lots of physical changes. Here’s a look at what you can expect when menopause hits and how we can help you get through this turbulent time.

Menopause, the time after your monthly period ends, marks the end of your reproductive years. You’re officially in menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 months

Many times, however, when people talk about being “in menopause,” they’re talking about the stage leading to menopause — perimenopause. During this time, hormonal changes begin that can cause frustrating symptoms.

The good news is that many safe and effective treatments exist to help you navigate this challenging time. At Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, board-certified OB/GYN Asia Mohsin, MD, offers expert perimenopause and menopause care and symptom management for women. 

For American women, the average age of menopause is 51. But perimenopause can begin 8-12 years earlier. In other words, the changes that trigger menopause usually start in your 40s, though some women may notice changes beginning in their late 30s. 

So what exactly happens to your body during menopause? Keep reading to find out, and learn more about how we can help.

Your body on menopause

Once you’ve entered menopause, your ovaries stop producing significant amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The reduction of these hormones can bring about metabolic and physiological changes.

One of the biggest physical differences you may notice during menopause is a change in your vaginal tissues and libido (sex drive). Low estrogen levels can mean less vaginal lubrication, thinner vaginal tissues, and reduced interest in sex. 

Other bodily changes related to changes in your hormones can include:

  • Urinary stress incontinence
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Weight gain (lower metabolism)
  • Trouble with memory and mood
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Changes in fat distribution

When you’re menopausal, your body also produces lower levels of the hormone leptin. This hormone is linked to hunger and satiety. Because of lower leptin levels, your appetite may increase once you’re in menopause. 

How you can help yourself through menopause

It’s important to keep in mind that menopause isn’t an illness or disease. It’s a natural part of the female reproductive cycle. But that doesn’t make it any easier to manage the frustrating symptoms and changes that can come with this time of transition. 

Lifestyle changes may ease some of your symptoms. These changes can include:

  • Adopting a healthy diet
  • Taking nutritional supplements
  • Using lubrication
  • Practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Having good sleeping practices

But since many menopause troubles come from imbalanced or missing hormones, for many women, these lifestyle changes aren’t enough. That’s why, at Progressive Women’s Health, we also offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT). 

How we can help you manage menopause

Hormone replacement therapy works to replace missing hormones or bring hormones back into balance. Many options for HRT exist, including topical options that address specific symptoms rather than overall hormone imbalances. 

To make sure you get the right HRT for your needs, Dr. Mohsin evaluates your overall health, current symptoms, and goals for treatment. She then makes personalized menopause care recommendations, which may include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (oral tablets, skin patches, or pellet implants)
  • Low-dose hormonal contraceptives 
  • Topical estrogen for vaginal symptoms
  • Brisdelle® for hot flashes
  • Osphena™ or Intrarosa® for painful sex 

To learn more about how we can help you navigate the changes menopause can bring, call 281-626-7694 or book an appointment online with Progressive Women’s Health today. We also offer telehealth visits.