For this week’s Women’s Wellness sponsored by Baton Rouge Clinic, is talking about something that happens to women in their late 40’s to early 50’s, menopause.
“Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menses, and we further determine that by retrospectively looking back, when a woman has been without a period for an entire 12 months,” said Dr. Jennifer Greeson, an internist at The Baton Rouge Clinic.
Dr. Greeson said there are three subcategories to it.
“So, during that time, we can further subclassify this when a woman is in premenopause, perimenopause, which really talks about that time surrounding menopause, and then a postmenopausal time,” said Dr. Greeson. “This tends to happen more toward the late 40’s, generally around 47, but that’s when a woman’s store of her eggs is being depleted. So this can start initiating some of the classic symptoms we think about with menopause.”
Some of those symptoms include, hot flashes, sleep issues, vaginal dryness, weight gain, and mood swings to name a few, but there are some misconceptions about it, as well.
“If you just strike up an image of what menopause is, everybody thinks of this hot, angry woman, who’s moody and itchy and irritable all the time,” said Dr. Greeson. “Some people think that once you hit menopause, your libido is gone and sex life is over, but generally, some people do have the extremes of these symtoms. Sometimes it’s not noticeable at all. People generally just transition okay. So, you can have all ends of the spectrum about it.”
Another misconception about it, some women can still get pregnant during this time. Dr. Greeson said if you do have concerns or questions about menopause, make sure to contact your OB-GYN, and ask about the different options you have to make the transition smoother.
“Some of them are on those estrogen therapies, and we talk about getting off. Some women don’t feel like they can get off, but it’s really a conversation they should have with their OB-GYN, and kind of tie it in to an internal medicine stand point given their risk factors and things that would benefit their overall health,” concluded Dr. Greeson.
If you would like to learn more about menopause, just head to the resources below: