Are you approaching 50? That's when most women experience symptoms of menopause. Frankly, this physiological change is not fun. Your OB/GYN doctors in Ridgewood, NJ, are Dr. Eric Bentolila and Dr. Jacqueline Saitta. They'll help you manage your symptoms so you feel more like yourself.
What is menopause?
Part of the aging process, menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating. Occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, this life change is triggered by low estrogen levels. Women cease ovulating, and fertility drops off dramatically.
Unfortunately, this transition is not a smooth one. All women experience uncomfortable symptoms of one kind or other. Others have very difficult symptoms. Your experience of menopause may differ widely from your best friend or sister's, reports Healthline.
Symptoms of menopause
If you're in mid-life, expect some changes in how you feel and even act. Menopausal symptoms include:
- Thinning hair
- Spotty, irregular and absent menstrual periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Thinning bone (osteoporosis) and decreased muscle mass
- Vaginal atrophy and dryness
- Mood swings
- Reduced libido
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Slowed metabolism
While most women begin and transition through menopause naturally, others experience induced menopause due to chemotherapy for cancer, hysterectomy, or injury to the pelvis.
If you suspect you are starting menopause and wish to control your symptoms, talk to your OB/GYN in Ridgewood, NJ. Both Dr. Bentolila and Dr. Saitta use as natural an approach as possible to the important life change. Your customized care plan may include:
- Recommendations for a heart-healthy diet and exercise program
- Getting adequate sleep
- A smoking cessation program
- Estrogen replacement therapy (for younger women with severe symptoms)
- Supplements such as St. John's Wort and Black Cohash for hot flashes and moodiness
- Dressing in light nightclothes and keeping bedroom temperature cool
- Strengthen pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises (gently contracting and relaxing the muscles)
- Use of vaginal moisturizers and lubricants to reduce dryness
Finally, antidepressant therapy helps some women with mood changes and irritability. Your physician may recommend keeping a journal of your symptoms and what may help relieve them. Many women benefit from writing down positive thoughts and blessings to counter uncomfortable feelings about aging, regrets, and decreased vitality. As always, reach out to your health care provider if depressive symptoms escalate.
It's your life
Take charge of it by managing menopause. For thoughtful, caring treatment, contact OB/GYN specialists, Dr. Eric Bentolila or Dr. Saitta at either of their two offices. For the Ridgewood location, phone (201) 447-1700, or in Bayonne, call (201) 447-0467.