Menopause, the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, is defined as occurring 12 months after the last period. Several factors, especially family history can play a role in exactly when this occurs, but the average age is 51. The emotional and physical changes leading up to this milestone is call the perimenopause. Early menopause can also result from surgery or disease. Common symptoms include:

• Irregular uterine bleeding

• Night sweats

• Insomnia

• Irritability

• Hot flashes

• Fatigue

• Depression

• Vaginal dryness

• Bladder control symptoms

Some women transition into the menopausal state much easier than others. While the goal is to avoid hormone replacement therapy, a short course of low dose bioidentical hormone treatment can often times significantly alleviate these symptoms.

Menopause is also associated with an increased risk of many other potentially serious conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and ovarian and colon cancers. Screening tests, prevention and early intervention for these and other diseases can all be discussed and coordinated through our office.

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