Posted on: 25 November 2014
As you're dealing with the unpleasant symptoms of menopause or perimenopause, you'd like to find a doctor to provide advice and assistance. You haven't been to an obstetrician-gynecologist in years and you're wondering if these doctors accept older women as patients as well as those in their childbearing years. Yes, they do. An Ob/Gyn can offer expert insight on therapies and actions that are likely to improve your symptoms.
What to Expect
Your Ob/Gyn will begin by going over your medical history and doing a physical exam. This doctor will have questions involving whether you still menstruate and when your last period occurred, what your menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms are and how you've been dealing with them. Then, the two of you can discuss strategies to relieve these symptoms.
Some problems you can't control, but you can do your best to manage them. If your periods have become erratic, for instance, you should probably carry feminine hygiene products with you just in case.
You may not have realized that night sweats are essentially the same thing as hot flashes. The primary difference is that you are likely to be bundled up in at least a sheet and maybe a blanket or two when a hot flash occurs during sleep -- and you can't take quick action to cool down as you could do when awake.
You can take action to prevent episodes of night sweats. For instance, eating spicy food or drinking alcohol before you go to bed is a risk factor for having a night sweat. Avoid these activities and you may substantially decrease your instances of hot flashes that start while you're asleep.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
You may have conflicting thoughts on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). You've heard it can be very effective for relieving severe, frequent hot flashes. You've also heard that it increases the risk of breast cancer. In addition, the hormones are derived from horse urine and the animals must live in very restricted confinement, which may be unpleasant for them.
Nevertheless, many women still decide that HRT is worth it if menopausal symptoms are debilitating.
Another option is bioidentical hormone therapy. The hormones are derived from plants rather than from horses. However, research on its effectiveness is conflicting, and it's unclear whether these substances are actually any safer.
After you make some behavior changes, you may see fast improvement of your symptoms. If those strategies aren't as effective as you'd like, have a thorough consultation with an ObGyn, such as Craig Ranch OB/GYN, about the benefits and risks of hormonal therapy. Take steps now to begin reducing the negative effects you're experiencing and regain your quality of life.Share