Supportive Care During Menopause
Women go through many different reproductive life stages, including menstruation, pregnancy, and perimenopause. Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that marks the complete cessation of menses. Women who are menopausal do not get a period and can no longer conceive. Hot flashes and vaginal dryness are common symptoms of menopause. Visiting the OB/GYN is still encouraged during and after this life stage to manage symptoms and keep up to date with other routine health screenings.
Is it hot in here?
Every woman going through menopause will experience various symptoms which differ for each person. Some signs and symptoms include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, low mood, night sweats, and changes in libido. Additional symptoms include hair loss, urinary problems, weight changes, dry skin, and sleep difficulty. If symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, speak to an OB/GYN. The doctor can recommend medication and lifestyle changes to manage the issues at hand.
Health risks of menopause
There are some medical disorders that postmenopausal women may be more prone to developing. These conditions include osteoporosis, heart diseases, mental health disorders, and vaginal atrophy. A decrease in estrogen levels is the main cause of these conditions. Frequent visits with the OB/GYN can identify health problems early, allowing for intervention before the condition worsens.
Symptom management with medications
The treatment of menopause depends on the symptoms experienced. Hormonal therapy helps treat hot flashes, relieve vaginal dryness, and decrease pain during intercourse. Antidepressants are helpful for mood disorders that are common during this transition. The OB/GYN will provide the right medications based on the symptoms reported by the patient.
Some women prefer trying out home remedies first to lessen the symptoms. Home treatments include using over-the-counter (OTC) vaginal lubricants, doing pelvic exercises, incorporating relaxation techniques, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. Relaxation techniques can include yoga, meditation, and massage. Many women benefit from avoiding known triggers that cause hot flashes. Pay attention to what type of food, drink, or environment triggers the menopausal symptoms and steer clear.
Schedule that annual exam
During menopause, the OB/GYN is the go-to doctor to help with symptom management. However, even after menopause, women still need to attend annual well-women appointments. These routine check-ups include pelvic examination, pap smear, breast examination, and mammogram. These screening tests are performed to rule out medical disorders and cancers such as cervical and breast cancer. Bone density screenings are also evaluated as postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis.
Embracing older age
Nowadays, there are various treatment options, medical and home remedies, to help cope with the symptoms of menopause. An OB/GYN is considered the go-to doctor during pregnancy, but this medical professional is also a critical member of the care time for older women. Annual visits focusing on preventative care and as-needed appointments to manage symptoms of menopause are essential.