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Women's Healthcare Physicians of Naples

OB/GYNs located in Naples, FL

Menopause is a unique journey for each woman, yet in spite of differences in the severity of hot flashes, at least half of all women develop vaginal atrophy following menopause, and all of them face similar health risks associated with low estrogen. The team at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples have extensive experience helping women throughout menopause and their postmenopausal years. Call their offices in Naples, Florida, or schedule an appointment online for a menopause consultation.

Menopause Q & A

When Does Menopause Occur?

Your ovaries start to produce less estrogen before you reach menopause. During this time, called perimenopause, menstrual periods usually begin to change, but the change is different for each woman. Your monthly cycle may get longer or shorter, periods may be irregular, and your blood flow may be lighter or heavier.

Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing estrogen, so you also stop having menstrual periods. The average age of menopause is 51, but it can occur anytime in your 40s or 50s.

What Symptoms Occur During Menopause?

Some women have few symptoms; others have mild hot flashes. For many women, menopause symptoms are so severe they interfere with a good night’s sleep and interrupt daily activities.

These classic menopause symptoms may occur during perimenopause and persist long after your reach menopause:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful intercourse
  • Low sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Difficult or frequent urination

How Does Estrogen Loss Affect Your Health?

Estrogen influences many parts of your body, from your hair and immune system to your colon and fat tissues. It regulates bone metabolism, helps maintain elasticity in tissues like blood vessels and the vagina, and it protects your skin by promoting hydration and preventing the loss of collagen.

When you lose estrogen during menopause, you’re at a higher risk for the following health conditions:

  • Vaginal atrophy (thinning, drying, inflammation of vaginal walls)
  • Heart disease
  • Bone loss and osteoporosis
  • Aging skin (dry skin, wrinkles)
  • Hair loss
  • Urinary incontinence

How Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Help?

The most efficient way to stop menopause symptoms and prevent health problems is to restore normal hormone levels. In spite of the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), many women have questions and concerns about its safety.

Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples. Your doctor can answer your questions and review your medical history to determine whether HRT is a good choice for you. HRT is safe for most women when the dose and type of hormone used are based on each person’s needs.

Hormone replacement therapy is available in many forms, including oral pills, skin patches, injections, vaginal rings and creams, and topical creams.