Some women reach menopause without experiencing much of a change other than the loss of menstrual periods. Other women are dragged into menopause with severe hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, and loss of sexual desire. Whatever your experience, the doctors at The Association for Women’s Health Care offer the comprehensive services you need to stay healthy and active. Whether you’d like hormone replacement therapy, prefer bioidentical hormones, or need bone density testing, you can get expert care at our offices in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois.
Frequently Asked Questions
On average, menopause naturally occurs around the age of 51. However, you may reach this stage earlier or later, and you’ll begin menopause immediately if your ovaries must be surgically removed.
Levels of estrogen begin to drop in the three to five years before you reach menopause, which is a stage called perimenopause. During this time, your menstrual periods may become less regular and at least two-thirds of all women will begin to develop symptoms associated with menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
When you haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, you’ve reached menopause. At this point, your estrogen levels have reached the low level where they’ll stay for the rest of your life. You can also continue to have classic symptoms.
Hot flashes usually occur for more than a year. Without hormone replacement therapy, they stop on their own in about four or five years, but they can last longer or stop sooner. They may be so mild they’re easy to ignore or so severe they interfere with enjoying daily life.
Since each woman’s experience is unique, there isn’t one answer about whether to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve menopause symptoms — it’s a personal decision. HRT is very effective and it’s safe for most women, but your doctor at The Association for Women’s Health Care will talk with you about any health issues that may prevent you from using HRT.
We offer HRT in many different forms — pills, creams, patches, injections, and pellets that are inserted under your skin and last three to four months. We also offer bioidentical hormone therapy, which some women prefer because they precisely match the structure of hormones naturally produced in your body.
Loss of estrogen does more than make menstrual periods stop. It causes other changes in your body that can lead to serious or uncomfortable health problems, such as:
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary incontinence
- Dry, less supple skin
- Heart disease
The staff at The Association for Women’s Health Care are here to help you maintain optimal health and wellness with comprehensive menopause services. We offer bone density testing as well as urogynecology services for diagnosing and treating urinary and bowel problems. You’ll also receive ongoing screening for all of the health complications associated with menopause.