Menopause Specialist

Canterbury Women's Health Care

Gynecologists located in Fresno, CA

Menopause and the perimenopausal years leading up to this time in a woman’s life can come with a variety of uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. The experienced gynecologists at Canterbury Women’s Health Care in Fresno, California, are here with treatment options to ease your symptoms and help you reach optimal health. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about menopause and how to relieve your symptoms.

Menopause Q & A

Canterbury Women's Health Care

What is menopause?

Menopause is marked when a woman does not have her menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Before menopause, your ovary produces an egg every month. When the fertile egg is made, the ovary also makes estrogen and progesterone.

During menopause, egg production ceases, and your ovaries create less estrogen and progesterone. Periods become less frequent and eventually stop. Things can happen suddenly or occur over time.

Most women experience menopause between their 40s and 50s, though the average age is 51. It’s considered a natural part of the aging process. Surgical menopause is when both ovaries are removed because of benign or cancerous conditions.

When you reach post-menopause, you can no longer become pregnant.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Women experience different menopausal symptoms, and they can last up to five years. Some of them may have severe symptoms while others experience none at all.

You might notice that your periods begin to change in frequency. Additional symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes and skin flushing
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness, infections, and painful sexual intercourse
  • Mood swings, including irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat
  • Less interest in sex or decreased response to sexual stimulation
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Urinary leakage or incontinence

Are there ways to diagnose and treat menopause?

Your physician uses blood tests to look for changes in your hormone level and determine if you’re close to menopause or already postmenopausal. Tests may include:

  • Estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone
  • Thyroid and other pituitary hormone tests if you’re younger than 4
  • Pelvic exam to monitor changes in the vagina’s lining
  • Bone density tests to look for osteoporosis-related bone loss

Depending on your blood tests and medical exam, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy, medications, or diet and lifestyle changes to help ease your symptoms and improve your overall health.

Are there long-term risks associated with menopause?

The loss of estrogen can increase your risk of developing other health conditions, including heart disease and osteoporosis. Besides collaborating with your doctor, you can improve your long-term health by:

  • Controlling your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors
  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a low-fat diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements

Call or schedule an appointment online with Canterbury Women’s Health Care to learn more.