Menopause: What To Expect, When It Arrives & How To Cope
Similar to getting your period or experiencing pregnancy, menopause is a stage of life where symptoms (when present) can vary greatly for women. “Something that is consistent among women, is that menopause occurs right around age 51,” says Jeffery Cherney, MD. “You’ll know when the stage is complete because you will have gone 12 months in a row without a period. For the women that share they’ve barely experienced any symptoms, I tell them they should consider themselves very fortunate, as they’re in the minority.”
“For those that are experiencing symptoms, anywhere from mild to severe, I work with them to help them be as comfortable as possible until the menopause stage is complete,” commented Dr. Cherney. “Symptoms of menopause can include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
Treatment can vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Ideally we try to treat it non-medically since it’s a natural phase, and the non-medical options would include making yourself as comfortable as possible in your surroundings by doing things such as:
- Keeping the room cooler with fans or air conditioning.
- Dressing in layers and V-neck shirts or dresses to adapt to the symptoms as they come and go.
- Exercising daily to help reduce the number of hot flashes.
There are a few different medical approaches we can take to help those who are experiencing symptoms severe enough to disrupt their daily life, including hormone replacement or non-hormone options,” says Dr. Cherney. “While it is a natural phase for your body to go through, I never want my patients feeling miserable day to day. Talk to your OB/GYN doctor in the Fox Valley area to help educate you on the pros and cons of each option and help figure out the best way to make menopause manageable for you.”