Menopause means the end of menstruation (periods) and is an inevitable natural phenomena in every woman's life.
Although the average age of menopause is around 52, it can happen earlier or later. Menopause means "last period" and 'perimenopause' is the period before and after menstruation stops. Perimenopause can last for many years, and the symptoms usually occur between 45-55 yrs.
Symptoms can be life changing for many women, both physically and emotionally, and unfortunately women have suffered in silence, believing that the inconvenience and discomfort of the aging process were inevitable.
Now however, women can and will be helped by simple interventions, such as laser vaginal treatments and Menopausal Hormone Treatment.
Oestrogen withdrawal = Menopausal symptoms
The gradual reduction in hormone levels which occurs naturally at menopause can produce symptoms such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood changes and a reduced libido.
Many women are unaware that there are simple and safe interventions which can be life changing. They sadly accept these changes and don't seek assistance. But dependent upon your medical history, lifestyle and health beliefs, there will definitely be something available that can help alleviate these symptoms .
After discussion between you and your doctor, Individual treatments plans can be decided using a shared decision making approach. The best option for you depends on your own preferences, concerns, expectations and past medical history.
Perimenopause is not a contraception
Menopause occurs because the ovaries no longer produce eggs or hormones. At this stage of most women's lives they no longer wants or need to get pregnant, and many women think they cannot fall pregnant in the perimenopause, but they can. Late unplanned pregnancy can be distressing and there are special approaches to contraception for women who are in their later reproductive years.
If you are still menstruating, even if it is much less or irregularly, you will still be ovulating and there is still the potential of falling pregnant. Though your natural fertility is reduced with increasing age, especially after the age of 45, the chances of conception are not zero!
Cardiovascular and Bone Health
At menopause and perimenopause, women should consider a comprehensive risk assessment for their future health.
Modifiable risk factors (such as weight and lifestyle) and non-modifiable risk factors (genetics and medical history) are very important in the mature woman, as risk factors start to show. Now is the time to understand how to reduce the risk for a number of common conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Cancer, Mood, Incontinence, Libido... there are many other issues to consider
Mood changes can occur at menopause and may relate to hormonal adjustment but they could also relate to other life events such as teenage children, elderly parents, work dilemmas or relationship difficulties.
We can help you to manage your depression or anxiety effectively with exercise, talking therapies (including computerised CBT) and medication.
Breast and bowel cancer screening is recommended for women over 50 or earlier if there is significant family history.
Cervical cancer screening is recommended up to the age of 70.
If you have poor pelvic floor tone or urinary incontinence (urge, stress or both) we can help improve your quality of life with individualised management.
We'll help you choose the best approach to menopause, as well as bone health (prevention of osteoporosis), cardiovascular health and your sexual function (desire and ability).
MonaLisa Touch treatment for women experiencing vaginal symptoms of menopause
Clinic 66 is pleased to be able to offer this treatment as part of range of interventions for menopause. MonaLisa Touch is a safe, effective and innovative new laser treatment for vaginal symptoms such as dryness, irritation and recurring urinary infections. It produces changes in the vagina and vulval area which are beneficial to those suffering with their menopause - from perimenopausal right through to post-menopausal woman.
Generally, 3 treatments over the course of 6 months is required initially, and then once per year thereafter (though some women need more frequent treatments). Research evidence is looking very promising regarding the benefits of Mona Lisa touch treatments but there is currently no Medicare or Private Health Fund rebate available for this treatment.
Alternative treatment options
Other options for treating menopausal symptoms include menopausal hormone treatments (MHT) and topical hormone treatments such as vaginal pessaries. And whilst there is little substantiated scientific evidence to recommend natural remedies, some women do report that they find them helpful.
For women who are experiencing hot flushes and mood problems such as depression, they may be prescribed SSRI medication.
Testosterone treatment in the form of creams and gels is also becoming increasingly popular for woman who wish to improve their libido, although there are no PBS concessions for use of testosterone in women and prescribing is seen as “offline”. However testosterone treatment is effective and used by thousands of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
We're all different and there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to menopause, so treatment options need to be tailored to the individual. Come and see us and start the conversation...