Gynecology: Menopause

Menopause is a natural process in which the function of a woman’s ovaries gradually declines to a very low level and in which the release of eggs from the ovary ceases.

The average age of menopause is about 48 to 52 years but there has been a recent trend for menopause to occur somewhat later in the early 50’s.  The process of menopause generally lasts about two years.

Important changes and medical considerations in menopause include:

  • Uncomfortable menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, disturbances of sleep or moods.
  • Changes in sexual interest or in sexual responsiveness (vaginal lubrication)
  • Occurrence of pain with sexual activity
  • Development of medical conditions which “run in the family”, including:
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes or Pre-diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Thyroid problems
  • Increase in occurrence of vaginal infections or bladder infections
  • Development of urinary incontinence problems
  • Pelvic support problems involving the uterus, bladder or rectum
  • Osteoporosis, and other bone density problems
  • An increase in the occurrence of various kinds of cancers also occurs at midlife

Menopausal symptoms are usually temporary but may interfere with a woman’s quality of life for a time.  A variety of dietary supplements as well as prescription medications are available to assist in dealing with these symptoms.

When changes in sexuality occur an underlying medical problem may be present.

Medical evaluation is always appropriate.

Our providers are trained and experienced in providing a comprehensive evaluation of issues related to menopause.

Our office evaluations around the time of menopause include a specific discussion and assessment of family medical problems and risks.  As always, we coordinate your care closely with your family physician or internist in arranging proper follow up care and treatment.