Talking About Menopause Throughout The Stages To Ease Your Symptoms
Menopause is a bit different for every woman. When you go to your OBGYN every year for a routine exam, your obstetrician will talk to you about the stages of menopause around your 40th birthday. You may experience symptoms earlier than 40, or you might ease into menopause with minimal symptoms throughout. Perimenopause is the first stage, can start several years before you go into full menopause. You might experience changes in your mood, hot flashes, and hormonal changes. Once you are no longer producing eggs, you are considered in full menopause. While your OBGYN might test you to see if hormone levels have decreased, your symptoms are what truly shows that perimenopause has started.
Menopause and Your Overall Health
With estrogen levels decreasing, menopause is considered in full force when you have not had a period for one year. You may have more significant symptoms of vaginal dryness, irritation, anxiety, mood swings, continued hot flashes during this time. This stage of menopause can last several years, and you may want to talk to your OBGYN about symptom management. When you are sweating profusely at night or your moods control your behavior all the time, you can talk to your doctor about treatment options. As your symptoms decrease, you begin to enter Postmenopause.
Postmenopause and OBGYN Treatment
While you hare no longer fertile, you can continue to see your OBGYN for medical care once you reach postmenopause. Women who are over 65 still need pelvic exams, and will continue to benefit from cervical screening for cancer. Even when you no longer have menopause symptoms, it is part of your overall health care to receive OBGYN care. If you have never had an abnormal pap smear and don't have a history of cancer, your primary care physician may agree to do pelvic exams for you instead.
Managing Your Menopausal Symptoms
Menopause symptoms can range from mildly irritating to life changing. You may be able to take certain medications to balance your hormone levels or help your overall mood. When your symptoms are severe, be clear with your OBGYN about what is going on. No symptom is too small when you are meeting with your doctor about menopause.
As you go through menopause, don't be afraid to talk with your OBGYN and primary care physician about what is going on with your body and to find more information.. Your overall health will depend on the quality care you receive. This is done by being honest with your doctor and asking questions you might be embarrassed about.