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Commonwealth OB-GYN

OB-GYNs located in Brookline Village, Brookline, MA

Menopause is a natural part of aging that occurs at the end of a woman's reproductive years when periods stop. The team at Commonwealth OB-GYN in Brookline Village, Brookline, Massachusetts can help educate and guide you through perimenopause and menopause. While some women have very few symptoms of menopause, others have symptoms that can cause distress and discomfort. If you are concerned about menopause, call to schedule an appointment today.

Menopause Q & A

What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause?

Perimenopause is the time before menopause, which usually begins in your 40s, when your body produces fewer hormones, like estrogen and progesterone. You start to experience menopause-related symptoms during perimenopause such as irregular periods because of these hormonal changes.

You officially enter menopause when you haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Every woman experiences menopause differently. You may or may not have one or more of the following symptoms, which may vary widely in severity from your friends’ and family’s experiences:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
  • Libido loss
  • Painful sex
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Concentration issues

How is menopause managed?

After a comprehensive exam, to improve menopausal symptoms, your doctor might suggest the following lifestyle modifications:

  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid food and drinks that may cause your hot flashes; common triggers include hot drinks and spicy food
  • Wear loose clothing, especially layers you can take off during a flash
  • Wear fabrics that absorb moisture and dry quickly (look for the words "moisture-wicking")
  • Keep an ice-cold drink handy, especially at your bedside
  • Keep the room temperature cool if possible, and try setting the thermostat to less than 70 degrees during the day and less than 64 degrees at night
  • Exercise regularly because research suggests active women have less trouble with hot flashes
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Try acupuncture and relaxation techniques

Menopause symptoms are caused by changes in the body's levels of estrogen. Hormone therapy (HT, previously called hormone replacement therapy or HRT) is a possible solution, but has health risks, especially later in menopause. If you have severe hot flashes affecting your quality of life, it may be worth considering HT early in menopause. Other non-hormonal medications can also be considered to alleviate symptoms.

Talk to the team at Commonwealth OB-GYN about any symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause. Call the friendly office staff to schedule an appointment today.