Menopause is a natural and inevitable part of a woman’s life that marks the ending of the reproductive years. Just as each woman is unique, so is the experience of menopause. The transition into menopause can be sudden or gradual and the severity of symptoms can vary from mild to intense.

Menopause usually begins when women are in their 50s, but can start even earlier in their mid-40s. Women who are entering into menopause often feel unprepared and can overlook their symptoms. Most symptoms of menopause don’t require treatment, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.

Blame it on the Hormones

During menopause, women produce less estrogen and stop experiencing menstrual bleeding. Because of the hormonal changes, women are at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions like osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and fluctuating cholesterol levels. 

One symptom of menopause that shouldn’t be ignored is weight gain. Body fat that increases around the abdominal area and organs has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and certain diseases like diabetes.

Other symptoms you shouldn’t ignore include:

  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Changes in heart rhythm or feelings of tightness in your chest

If you begin noticing these symptoms, it’s important you see your preferred women’s healthcare provider, whether that be your primary care physician, gynecologist or a certified midwife. They can provide recommendations for symptom relief or referrals to specialists who can address your more concerning conditions.

Many women at this life stage experience stressors, such as caring for an elderly family member or watching their kids go off to college. Women can mistakenly believe their symptoms are a side effect of this stress. Changes in sleep, mood swings, and depression can all be affected by stress, but a drop in your estrogen levels might also be to blame.

Talk to Your Doctor About Menopause

At Catholic Health, our goal is to provide the highest level of care throughout all stages of life. Whether you are entering into your adolescent, childbearing, or menopausal years, our team of specialists provide each patient with individualized care in a compassionate and professional setting.

We offer a full spectrum of services, including gynecologic care, preventative exams and screenings, gynecologic surgery, gynecology cancer care, and menopause treatment. Our board-certified gynecologists use evidence-based medicine and state-of-the-art technology to treat a variety of women’s health conditions. We take the time to listen and answer all of your questions, and always want you to feel empowered in your healthcare decisions.

With multiple locations across WNY, you can receive quality care at a Catholic Health facility that is most convenient for you. Call (716) 706-2112 to schedule an appointment or consultation with a provider near you.