At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, your physician, Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb, promotes your best health at every stage of life. This includes middle age, a period that for women poses a number of issues related to menopause. Read below to learn more about menopause and how we can help you more easily transition through it!
FAQS about menopause
What is menopause? Menopause is a natural part of the female aging process, and it indicates the finish of the childbearing years. Due to drastically reduced estrogen levels, women at this stage stop both ovulation and menstruation. Most doctors, including your Woodbridge, VA, physician, affirm that women are post-menopausal when they have not had a period for one full year.
What is the average age of menopause? In the United States, the average age is 51.
What are the symptoms of menopause? There are many symptoms, and they vary from woman to woman. Typically, symptoms begin several years before actual menopause and can include:
- Spotty, light, and infrequent periods
- Hot flashes (feelings of intense warmth and skin flushing)
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Insomnia (trouble falling to sleep and staying asleep)
- Night sweats
- Vaginal and urethral dryness
- Painful sexual intercourse due to vaginal thinning
What is the relationship between bone loss and menopause? While both men and women lose bone and muscle mass as they age, this loss tends to accelerate in women after menopause. The thinnest areas are the hip, wrist, and spine. A test called a bone scan can determine if a woman has very weak bones (osteoporosis) and needs medication to strengthen them and reduce the risk of fracture.
What are the best strategies to deal with menopausal symptoms? Adequate rest, a healthy diet, and regular exercise maintain a woman's overall health and well-being during this time of transition. Other helpful interventions are:
- Vaginal lubricants to ease dryness and pain during intercourse
- Antidepressants to mitigate mood swings and hot flashes
- Herbal supplements to reduce hot flashes, headaches, and insomnia (black cohosh is commonly used)
- Seeing your primary care physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine for an annual check-up and pap smear or as often as she advises
Stay healthy and happy
For answers to other questions about menopause, contact Ridgeview Internal Medicine for a consultation with Dr. Al-Khateeb and her team: (703) 494-4116.