Ask any woman who has gone through menopause and they will likely tell you, the perimenopause (or pre-menopause) period can be very difficult. It is during this time that a woman’s body begins to produce less estrogen than it had previously. It’s natural for women to experience changes in their menstrual cycle as well as other symptoms like hot flashes, sleep issues, unstable moods, and more. Although every woman will eventually have to go through menopause, the transition can affect all women differently. To help provide some clarity on what you can expect during this transition, our board-certified gynecologists have answered a few commonly-asked questions about the symptoms of menopause and how they can be most effectively managed.
Question #1: Is it true that exercise can help regulate my symptoms during the perimenopause period?
This is true. Working out has been proven to help women with their symptoms during perimenopause by reducing physical and emotional stress. Exercising regularly during menopause can reduce emotional side effects like depression and anxiety, while also keeping off weight gain that is common during this time. Additionally, working out can help women reduce their risk of physical conditions associated with menopause including osteoporosis, as well as common illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. We recommend for women to try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of more strenuous aerobic activity, every week.
Question #2: Are there behaviors or habits that can make hot flashes more severe?
Yes. Abusing tobacco or excessively consuming alcohol during menopause can often make hot flashes more severe. Excess stress can also increase the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, so try to manage your stress in a healthy way. Exercising regularly and performing breathing exercises can help as well.
Question #3: How can I determine which form of hormone therapy is the best fit for my needs?
Some women who need help managing their symptoms during perimenopause may turn to hormone therapy treatments. Hormone therapy replenishes the body’s supply of hormones like estrogen and/or progestogen to help reduce the effects of menopause. There are two types of hormone therapy treatments: systemic and local. Systemic therapy releases replacement hormones into the bloodstream using a pill, injections, skin patches, or topical gels or sprays. Once they reach the bloodstream, the hormones travel to the organs and tissues where they are most needed. Local therapy uses a vaginal ring, tablet, or cream to help women who are experiencing issues more specific to the vaginal area, including vaginal dryness or itching. Determining the appropriate type of hormone replacement therapy for your needs depends on your health, the degree of your symptoms, and your personal preference.
Menopause is a complex issue and it’s understandable if you still have some additional questions. If so, don’t hesitate to contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to request an appointment today. Our board-certified gynecologists will work with you to help make your transition into menopause as smooth as possible. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, updates, and more.