What to Expect During Menopause
Menopause is known as "the change" for good reason: there are many different ways your body responds to the loss of hormones. Dr. James Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, works with his menopausal patients to help them understand the physical and emotional upheaval that can be associated with this time in their lives. Here, he's detailed what women often experience during menopause.
The decline in estrogen is responsible for several of the physical changes that women experience during menopause. One of the first signs that menopause is approaching is when periods become irregular in the mid- to late-40's. This is called perimenopause, and your Texarkana obstetrician recommends staying on birth control for at least a year after your final period, as pregnancy is still a possibility. One of the most well-known symptoms of menopause is hot flashes, a result of the brain trying to calibrate its temperature-regulating system. Menopausal women may also notice weight gain and vaginal dryness, and the risk of osteoporosis, or bone loss, becomes higher. Hormone replacement therapy may help some women navigate menopause, although it's not recommended for everyone. A good diet, regular exercise, and supplements have also shown to be helpful.
Your Texarkana obstetrician finds that the emotions associated with menopause vary greatly from woman to woman. Part of the difference depends on the outlook the patient has on menopause. Some women feel happy, even exhilarated, about no longer needing birth control or having periods. Others process the news as a significant marker for aging and feel sad or even angry at the change. The fluctuation in hormones and specific physical changes can play a part in the way women react to menopause. Anxiety, irritability, memory loss, decreased libido and depression can all be part of the process, and the rapid mood swings that come along with it mean that none of these symptoms are predictable. Your Texarkana obstetrician can help you manage your emotional changes associated with menopause through medication, dietary changes, exercise and possible hormone replacement therapy.
Dr. James Scales and his caring staff are available to help you maintain good reproductive health at any point in your life. To schedule an appointment, contact our Texarkana, TX, office today!