As we age, our bodies undergo several changes. Menopause is one of those changes experienced by women who are past childbearing age. Sometimes it comes with uncomfortable symptoms. But some women will go through it without any discomfort. So this begs the question do you need to see a doctor for menopause?
Menopause research is not fully exploited. Therefore, it may not be clear how it affects everyone. But one thing that is certain is that this process is different for every woman. It’s advisable to consult a menopause doctor if you experience symptoms that disrupt your quality of life. Learn more about menopause and when to seek help from this guide.
What is Menopause Anyway?
Menopause is when a woman stops getting her monthly periods permanently. It mostly starts between 40 and fifty years. During this phase, the ovaries do not produce eggs. So the uterine lining doesn’t have anything to shed, leading to a decrease in oestrogen. Many women may feel devastated when menopause symptoms start manifesting. However, it doesn’t always mean the end of someone’s fertile stage.
Of course, the obvious symptom is disruption of the menstrual cycle. Since the body produces less oestrogen, your menstrual period will not be the same. If you receive no period for an entire year, it’s usually a sign that menopause has kicked in. Other than missed periods, you may also have other symptoms to show that you are entering menopause. These include:
- Mood Swings- since your progesterone and oestrogen levels change, you may experience mood swings. This symptom is common for people who previously experienced depression or PMS.
- Changes in your sleeping patterns- sometimes, menopause can make it hard to fall or remain asleep. It is wise to avoid caffeine, especially when it’s almost bedtime. Additionally, think of including regular exercise in your routine.
- Vaginal dryness- this is brought about by the significant changes happening in your body. You may also notice that you experience increased urinary tract infections.
- Hot flashes- your body may suddenly become hot, especially the upper part. You can even release sweat and experience chills afterward. Hot flashes or not long-lasting, they tend to fade after a few minutes.
Other symptoms to look out for include memory deficiencies, breast tenderness, depression, and mental fogginess.
When to See a Doctor
Symptoms associated with menopause are pretty common. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see a doctor for evaluation. Remember that these symptoms may be very uncomfortable, such that they affect your quality of life. In that case, a doctor can suggest treatments to help manage the discomfort. Here are some signs you need to see a doctor:
- Your symptoms are extreme- menopausal symptoms are mostly mild. But, sometimes, they can be severe to the point they interfere with your daily operation. If that is the case, you need to see a doctor. If you cannot work well or you feel unwell, please see a doctor.
- You experience unexpected symptoms- menopause is different for every woman. Some find it harder than others. Apart from the common menopausal symptoms, you may experience anxiety, dizziness, or weight gain. In that case, you need to see a medical professional to rule out other conditions.
How Can a Menopause Doctor Help?
Your doctor can recommend several treatments to manage your symptoms. For instance, menopausal hormone therapy may be recommended to help with mood swings and address other hormonal issues you are experiencing. But as it comes with some side effects, please speak to your doctor on whether it is right for you.
Some people may also be given oral contraceptives to help regulate hormones. These medications can help reduce the instances of hot flashes and regulate periods during this time. You may also be advised to take medications for anxiety, depression, and vaginal dryness if needed.
Consulting with a menopausal doctor is essential if you are experiencing menopause symptoms. Some women choose to live with them because they think it’s harmless or due to social taboos or denial. But, it is important that you seek treatment and routine checkups.