Menopause is a process that occurs when a woman stops menstruating. Typically, it happens around age 50 and is preceded by an entire year of no periods. Menopause occurs because the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, which are the hormones that cause the menstrual cycle to occur. Menopause can also happen due to a hysterectomy, chemotherapy or ovarian insufficiency.
Unfortunately, without these hormones, the woman might also encounter some displeasing side effects that affect her well-being.
Typical symptoms of menopause include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, problems with mood and sleeping, weight gain, night sweats, thinning hair, irregular periods, dry skin and loss of breast plumpness. Women may also have to urinate more, have increased UTIs and experience decreased libido.
While it is normal to experience some discomfort while the body transitions through menopause, sometimes it can cause more serious problems that require medical intervention. Some women develop heart disease due to a decrease in estrogen and the slowing of their metabolism. Others may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, weight gain and overall sexual function.
Menopause is a complex syndrome because it affects each woman differently. One of the more common ways that menopause affects women is by decreasing the natural urge to have sex. Sexual desire is often referred to as sexual drive and that too is complex, as cultural values also play a part in a woman's sexual drive.
The changes to a woman's body during menopause can include a decrease in vaginal moisture leaving the vaginal tract drier. During sexual intercourse, the dryness may cause pain which becomes another barrier to enjoying sex.
Skin also changes as we age and the walls of the vagina and the skin of the vulva may begin to sag causing vaginal looseness. This can affect sexual confidence which is also a barrier to enjoying sex. These are just a few of the ways that menopause can cause sexual dysfunction.
The best way to treat problems associated with menopause is through hormone replacement therapy. Replacement estrogen has been shown to reduce hot flashes, prevent bone loss and improve heart health. For women suffering from vaginal dryness, a topical estrogen cream can be applied that is absorbed by the vaginal tissues.
Menopausal side effects are also treated with low-dose antidepressants and a drug called gabapentin. These also help with hot flashes and are a good alternative for women who do not qualify for estrogen treatments.
For women who are looking to improve their vaginal dryness and urinary incontinence, they should ask Dr. Navizadeh about FemiLift and ThermiVa. These cosmetic procedures boast a non-surgical option to vaginal tightening and rejuvenation. With no downtime and improved muscle tone, strength and elasticity of vaginal tissue, women can gain back their confidence and improve the health ad vitality of their vaginal tissue.
If the woman is experiencing bone loss, her doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help slow its progression as well as reduce the risk of injury.
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