Change of Life
Menopause is defined by the absence of menses for at least one year. The average age that a woman experiences this “change of life” is around 51 years of age. Actually, menopause occurring anytime between age 40 and the late 50s is considered normal. The fundamental change is that of falling estrogen levels from the ovary and ultimately cessation of ovulation.

Quality of Life
Except in the case of premature menopause, the cessation of menses is usually welcome. What brings the woman to seek care at this time more typically involves the other changes that she experiences with menopause. She may experience a variety of changes and symptoms which affect her quality of life. These may include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, irritability, depression, weight gain, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, and perhaps other problems. Needless to say, the time around menopause, also called the Climacteric, can be profoundly difficult.

Lifestyle Choices are Crucial
Many of these menopausal symptoms can affect work, family, relationships, activities, and overall wellbeing. No less important are the effects of lower estrogen levels on overall health. There are profound effects on the cardiovascular and neurological systems. Bone remodeling and overall metabolism are also affected. Thus, it is an understatement to say that menopause is just a “change of life.” Indeed, health and lifestyle decisions at this time are crucial for long-term wellbeing.

Why not call for a consultation?
Without going into detail here on the evaluation of menopause and overall health at this time of life, suffice it to say that often a consultation is well worthwhile. A Bella Baby OBGYN welcomes appointments from women experiencing menopausal symptoms. I am happy to sit down and discuss the health-related issues of menopause, recommend appropriate evaluation and screening, and review management options for maximizing the quality of life in the menopausal years.