Menopause is often referred to as “The Big Change,” and for good reason. As you transition out of your reproductive years, your body undergoes significant changes that can bring on unwelcome side effects, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood issues, to name just a few.
At Tahoe Women’s Care, Dr. Gary Willen and our team offer the services women need for every stage of life, from puberty on through menopause. While every woman inevitably faces The Big Change, the good news is that we have a few tools to ease the transition.
The impact of menopause
Menopause occurs when your ovaries shut down, marking the end of your reproductive stage. While this sentence makes it sound simple, for many women, the transition through menopause is anything but simple, as it upends their lives in meaningful ways.
To give you an idea of what can happen when your reproductive hormone levels rapidly decline, here’s a look at some of the more common side effects of menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Bone density loss
- Memory issues
- Mood fluctuations
- Problems with sleep
When it comes to prevalence, 75% of women (or more) experience hot flashes and more than half of postmenopausal women report issues with vaginal dryness.
While most of these side effects do eventually subside as your body adjusts, some women struggle for years with the effects of menopause.
Replenishing your hormones
One of the best ways to offset the effects of menopause is to restore the levels of your reproductive hormones through hormone replacement therapy. In fact, The North American Menopause Society issued a statement that said, “Hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.”
To deliver these hormones, we can use either a targeted or systemic approach, depending upon your symptoms. For example, if night sweats and hot flashes are interfering with your ability to function normally, you may want to try a systemic approach in which we deliver estrogen and progestin hormones into your bloodstream.
If, however, you only need to address vaginal dryness, we may recommend local estrogen hormone replacement treatments, such as creams, suppositories, vaginal rings, or sprays.
If your transition through menopause has left you with poor vaginal tissue health that leads to dryness and painful sex, we offer the innovative MonaLisa Touch® system. This state-of-the-art laser treatment improves your vaginal tissue by encouraging collagen production and better circulation, which leads to improved elasticity and lubrication in your tissue.
MonaLisa Touch can also help with incontinence issues, as the treatments help strengthen the support of your bladder.
The treatments take only minutes and there’s no downtime afterwards. Your results are gradual as your tissue rebuilds itself, but most of our patients report marked improvements within a few weeks.
If you’d like to learn more about weathering The Big Change with ease, contact our office in Carson City, Nevada, to set up an appointment.