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Menopause: Let’s Talk About It

March 26, 2024
3 minutes
Menopause: Let’s Talk About It

Menopause is a normal and natural transition in a woman’s life, but it’s not something women always feel comfortable discussing with their primary care provider or even thinking about mentioning. We are here to shift that thinking. We are on a mission to offer the best individualized care to every woman during their post-reproductive years as well. We have primary care clinicians who can walk alongside women on their perimenopause and menopause journeys, help manage symptoms that may arise, and refer them to a specialist if needed.

Menopause occurs when a woman has not had a period for 12consecutive months. There is a progressive decline of ovarian function, resulting in lower levels of estrogen and changes in other hormone levels. Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 and can last several years. The phase of life leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, and postmenopause refers to the years beyond menopause.

During both perimenopause and menopause, women may experience symptoms like hot flashes, disrupted sleep, weight gain, and mood swings that can poorly affect a woman’s quality of life. As women’s bodies change during this season, it’s a good time for them to reassess their health.

“There is no reason at all women should have to endure this normal life transition alone,” says Harbor Health Certified Menopause Society Practitioner Dr. Sonia Durairaj. Women worldwide are generally living longer, meaning most women will spend more than one-third of their lives in menopause. We can create treatment plans to help women flourish during this natural time.”

Working With a Harbor Health Team During Menopause

Our team will listen to your story and explain what is happening to your body, physically and mentally. We then offer a personalized care plan for you. Aside from managing symptoms one experiences during this time due to hormone fluctuations, we also address heart, brain, and bone health. The risks of cardiovascular disease rise, neurological shifts may happen in the brain impacting cognitive function and mood, and bone mineral density loss may accelerate during this life transition. Our health teams monitor all of these changes as a woman ages and offer her a voice in creating the care plan that best fits her needs.

“Treatment options may change as a woman ages through perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause,” says Dr. Durairaj. “Prescription medication or hormone replacement therapy may be helpful for a woman at some point. At other times, lifestyle behavior changes may be the best approach to treatment. I discuss the benefits and risks of each treatment option with women.”

We hope women at all stages of life will feel comfortable talking about how they’re feeling with our primary care clinicians. Our health teams take the time to truly get to know each woman, include her in the care plan discussions and decisions, and help her navigate the natural menopause transition.

Holly Murphy

Holly Murphy

Director of Corporate Marketing

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