Information for Mature Women

General information about the most common topics that affect mature women.

Menopause Treatment

Menopause Treatment ,

Menopause is the term used to describe the loss of ovarian follicular function (fertility) and menstruation in women, which occurs 12 months after a woman's last period. Most commonly a result of the aging process, menopause typically impacts women between the ages of 40 and 58, but can begin as early as a woman's mid-30s.

Menopause can also occur due to surgery (e.g., hysterectomy) or other medical interventions like cancer treatments. Certain medical condition like ovarian scarring and polycystic ovarian syndrome—or lifestyle behaviors like over-exercising—can cause amenorrhea, which is the cessation of menses. However, when those conditions are addressed, menstruation normally commences again. Other medical conditions like premature ovarian failure can cause early menopause that is permanent.

Menopause treatment aims to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with menopause, along with identifying and treating underlying health concerns which may exacerbate your menopause symptoms. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in that specializes in menopause treatment, call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Stages of Menopause

Menopause is a gradual process during which you may experience many physical, emotional and hormonal changes. While you are encountering symptoms of menopause, you are also undergoing changes in your body due to aging.

Typically, as you enter your 30s and 40s, your ovaries start making less estrogen and progesterone and your fertility experiences a decline. Your periods may become lighter or heavier, shorter or longer, more or less frequent, and your PMS symptoms like breast tenderness may increase, until your period finally ceases and you officially enter menopause. There are four stages of menopause:

  • Pre-menopause: A broad term which describes a woman during her reproductive years where her menstrual cycle occurs regularly
  • Perimenopause: The 3-5 years before menopause that causes a woman's estrogen levels to drop
  • Menopause: A period of life a woman enters when she experiences her last menstrual cycle
  • Post menopause: The phase in a woman's life that begins after her last menstrual cycle

Symptoms of Menopause

Depending on medical issues you are facing, as well as your particular genetic makeup, the hormonal shifts of menopause can cause a wide-ranging host of symptoms. Your lifestyle choices, as well as midlife transitions and stressors, all feed into your menopausal symptoms. Each woman will have a unique experience of menopause. In perimenopause—which can last for months or even years—the transition commences and this is when the "classic" symptoms of menopause occur:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Urinary issues
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory lapses
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Loss of breast fullness
  • Changes in libido
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Depression

These symptoms may continue through the transition of menopause and into post menopause. You may still get pregnant during perimenopause. Not until your periods have stopped for one year can you be considered in menopause and no longer fertile.

Decreased estrogen levels in post menopause can cause increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. It is also important to note that bleeding in post menopause should always be brought to the attention of your doctor as it can be a symptom of cancer in your reproductive system.

Seek Menopause Relief

Menopause does not require treatment but you will likely need help addressing the symptoms and risk factors during this stage of your life. Your healthcare professional can treat some of the extreme symptoms of perimenopause and monitor your health for postmenopausal concerns like heart disease, depression, weight gain, osteoporosis or decreased libido. Your menopause treatment plan may include:

  • Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to replace estrogen and progesterone
  • Vaginal estrogen or platelet-rich plasma injection to help with vaginal dryness or incontinence issues
  • Medication to treat underlying medical conditions like depression and osteoporosis
  • Medication to reduce hot flashes, address migraines or even help with mood swings
  • Certain lubricating products for vaginal dryness

Options for Natural Menopause Treatment

For many women, the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause are best controlled through natural lifestyle approaches. Your healthcare provider will likely have you focus on these aspects of your life: diet, physical activity, stress management and dietary supplement use.

Diet

Incorporating a healthier diet is just one natural menopause treatment that can bring greater menopause relief than you would guess. A menopause diet should include:

  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Fermented dairy
  • High-fiber foods including nuts, seed, legumes and beans
  • Lean protein
  • Phytoestrogenic foods like flax and chia seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, green beans, celery and rhubarb
  • Healthy fats from avocado, grass-fed butter or ghee or fatty fish
  • Foods high in magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin D and zinc

It is also important to limit sugar, sodium and alcohol consumption or anything extremely spicy to alleviate hot flashes and reduce bloating.

Physical Activity

Menopause weight gain is a significant concern for many women. Regular physical activity, particularly aerobic and strength exercises, during the menopausal years can reduce the likelihood of becoming obese and can help improve your sleep quality, energy levels and mood. Weight-baring activities can help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Stress Management

Unfortunately, stress and mood fluctuations during menopause are par for the course for many women. This can result in depression, anxiety, fatigue and a reduced sex drive. In order to combat these emotional symptoms of menopause, employ stress reduction techniques like acupuncture, meditation and any other activities which restores your sense of calm.

Dietary Supplements

If you fail to get enough nutrition through diet alone or seek specific nutrients known for their menopause symptom-reducing qualities, high quality, physician recommended supplements can aid in your menopausal relief. Your healthcare provider may recommend several different dietary supplements known to either optimize women's health overall, or are known to reduce your symptoms. These menopause supplements include:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D3 and K2
  • Zinc
  • Black cohosh
  • Licorice root
  • Dong quai
  • B vitamins
  • Evening primrose oil

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women, but you don't have to relinquish your wellbeing to your menopause symptoms. Request more information about menopause relief and your treatment options today. Call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Premature Ovarian Failure Treatment

premature ovarian failure symptoms & treatment in ,

Every woman has two ovaries which produce essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When a woman's ovaries are functioning normally, the pituitary gland releases a precise amount of hormones during the menstrual cycle, triggering egg-containing follicles to begin maturing inside the ovaries. Usually, each month, only one follicle reaches maturity. Upon maturity, this follicle—a sac of fluid holding the egg—bursts, releasing the egg into the fallopian tube where it may be fertilized by sperm and result in pregnancy.

When one or more of the ovaries fails to produce a normal amount of these hormones—or when you have follicle depletion or dysfunction—the entire fertility cycle can be disrupted. If this happens, and there is no immediately identifiable cause, like a tumor, you may be diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure (POF). POF refers to the end state of primary ovarian insufficiency. Primary ovarian insufficiency may begin during the teenage years and may exist for years before the condition is severe enough to be detected and diagnosed.

Once called early menopause, POF is different from menopause because the fertility cycle of egg production may continue intermittently and pregnancy is still possible at any stage of POF. Pregnancy in women with POF is possible, but not likely. Infertility is the most common and recognizable condition associated with POF, but other conditions like bone loss and heart disease can develop from long-term POF.

To schedule a consultation with a women's health specialist in that is an expert in premature ovarian failure treatment, call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Premature Ovarian Failure Symptoms

Although they are not the same, the symptoms of POF and menopause are almost identical and generally suggest a deficiency of estrogen. Premature ovarian failure symptoms generally include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Abnormal vaginal dryness and lack of normal lubrication discharge during sexual activity
  • Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced sexual interest
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Unexplained decrease in breast size or unusually small breasts (especially if breasts failed to develop normally during puberty)
  • Insomnia

Premature Ovarian Failure Causes and Risk Factors

Primary ovarian insufficiency exists in roughly one percent of women, and POF is the end point of this disease. In less than 15 percent of cases, POF has a genetic basis, but the origins of most POF cases are unknown, with no genetic cause identified. A family history of POF does increase your risk of developing it, whether the causes are genetic or not. Age is the highest risk factor, and the majority of women develop POF between the ages of 35 and 40. Additionally, certain health conditions can put you at a higher risk of developing POF, including:

  • Depletion of ovarian follicle pool
  • Ovarian dysgenesis (Turner syndrome)
  • Breakdown of ovarian follicles or follicular atresia
  • Growth arrest of ovarian follicles

These conditions can have a range of triggers, difficult to pinpoint, since they may have occurred decades before symptoms of POF appear. Possible causes for the development of follicular and ovarian dysfunction include:

  • Serious illness, particularly involving infection
  • Chemotherapy
  • Abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • Environmental factors
  • Certain disease syndromes, including autoimmune diseases

Premature Ovarian Failure Diagnosis

If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, a healthcare provider will likely test your hormone levels, including your levels of estrogen, prolactin and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). A pregnancy test will also be necessary to rule out early stages of pregnancy. In order to make an accurate premature ovarian failure diagnosis, patients must be too young for normal menopause (younger than 40), present with elevated plasma levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and have a history of at least six months of irregular periods. Your healthcare provider may also recommend genetic testing, like a karyotype test or FMR1 gene testing.

Premature Ovarian Failure Treatment

There is no cure for POF. However, diagnosis is essential as symptoms of POF may actually be caused by cancer or possibly pregnancy. Once POF has been determined to be the cause of your symptoms, there are important considerations.

Although infertility is higher in women with premature ovarian failure, pregnancy is possible and a fertility specialist can assist you in exploring options like in-vitro fertilization through the use of a donor egg.

If you have POF and do not want to get pregnant, options include using birth control measures or surgical measures to prevent pregnancy.

Your healthcare provider will likely be concerned about your risk for developing heart disease or osteoporosis due to estrogen deficiency. Bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy may be discussed to address this hormonal imbalance. Additional treatment specifically to prevent related conditions related to estrogen deficiency may be recommended, like supplementation with vitamin D, eating foods rich in calcium and strength training exercises to prevent osteoporosis.

A complete list of medical, dietary and supplement recommendations for POF and other conditions can be provided to you by your healthcare provider. Request more information about premature ovarian failure treatment today. Call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Hormonal Imbalance Treatment

Hormonal Imbalance Treatment in ,

A change in hormones can make your every-day issues feel insurmountable, Everest-like mountains of stress.  A hormonal imbalance can leave you feeling exhausted and beyond frustrated.

Two main hormones are to blame for the majority of your symptoms, estrogen and progesterone. When entering perimenopause the time before menopause, these hormone levels can vary wildly.  Perimenopause can occur anytime from your early thirties to late forties, affecting countless women.

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Decreased libido
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibrosis
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Memory loss
  • PMS (with mood swings, anxiety, depression and/or melancholia)

Together or independently, these symptoms can greatly affect your ability to enjoy life and do the things you love.

Treatments for Hormonal Imbalance

Reducing your sodium, caffeine, MSG and artificial sweetener intake can help control your symptoms. Cutting out natural sugar too is a wise move, not only can it help with hormonal imbalance, but may decrease your risk of developing type II diabetes. Diabetes—as some suggest—is a major precursor to breast cancer.

Diet is said to be key in controlling your hormones. Watching your carbohydrate intake, trading-in the white bread and fettuccini for fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains may all that is need to see relief. Increasing your vitamin intake, B6, zinc, magnesium, omega-3s and calcium early on before perimenopause may help even out symptoms later in life. 

Other treatments include progesterone supplements that have been reported by many women to virtually eliminate all negative symptoms of their hormonal imbalance. Hormone replacement therapy has been an option chosen by many women to control their hormone imbalance; bioidentical hormone replacement therapy being the most popular form of hormone replacement treatment due to its efficacy, safety and because it utilize hormones identical to the hormones in your own body. 

Regardless of which treatment and prevention options you and your healthcare provider decide to use, there is help. You don't need to suffer from the intolerably bumpy road of hormonal imbalance.

Request more information about hormonal imbalance today. Call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Hot Flashes (Hot Flushes) Treatment

Hot Flashes Treatment in ,

Hot flashes, sometimes referred to as hot flushes, are an uncomfortable, irritating condition to deal with. They can interfere with your life and make ordinary situations frustrating. If you're dealing with hot flashes (hot flushes) and want help, please call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Symptoms of Hot Flashes (Hot Flushes) in Women

Hot flashes (hot flushes) in women are usually quick and often debilitating. The experience of a hot flash (hot flush) can vary from person to person, but generally some symptoms of a hot flash (hot flush) include:

  • Redness in face
  • Redness in neck
  • Increase in temperature
  • Perspiration
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat

After the hot flash (hot flush) is over, many will experience a feeling of extreme cold, or chills. A hot flash (hot flush) can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, with time needed for recovery after.

Causes of Hot Flashes (Hot Flushes) in Women

Though commonly associated with menopause and perimenopause, there are many causes of hot flashes (hot flushes) in women. Hot flashes (hot flushes) are typically associated with hormones, so low estrogen may be a culprit.

In addition to hormonal issues, hot flashes (hot flushes) can be caused or made worse by a number of triggers:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Diet pills
  • Certain foods
  • High temperatures
  • Smoking
  • Saunas
  • Certain clothes

Avoiding or reducing these triggers can help mitigate your hot flashes (hot flushes) and bring you closer to finding the root cause.

Treatments for Hot Flashes (Hot Flushes) in Women

If you're experiencing hot flashes, treatment is available through a hormone specialist. There are many options for treating hot flashes (hot flushes), including simple lifestyle changes. In addition to avoiding the aforementioned triggers, increasing exercise, losing weight and changing your diet can help cut down on hot flashes (hot flushes).

A doctor specializing in treating hot flashes (hot flushes) may also recommend:

  • Medication
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Holistic medicine
  • Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)

Hormone replacement has emerged as a cutting-edge way to treat hot flashes (hot flushes). This is particularly true of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, or BHRTBHRT uses natural hormones to right your body's levels of estrogen and other key hormonal issues.

If you're curious about using Hormone Replacement Therapy to treat hot flashes (hot flushes), please call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Fight Hot Flashes (Hot Flushes) Today!

Whether through lifestyle changes, medication or hormone replacement therapy, hot flashes (hot flushes) are a debilitating issue worth treating. Hot flashes (hot flushes) can be confusing to deal with on your own, so it's best to contact a doctor. Please call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.

Overflow Incontinence Treatment

Overflow Incontinence Treatment in ,

Overflow incontinence—also known as chronic urinary retention—happens when a person's bladder doesn't completely empty when using the bathroom. Loss of bladder control is a health problem that affects many women. There is no known cause for female urinary incontinence, but there are several risk factors, the most common of which include:

  • Childbirth
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Menopause
  • Prior pelvic surgeries
  • Being overweight

Overflow incontinence occurs when you are unable to completely empty your bladder, which leads to overflow that leaks out unexpectedly. You may or may not sense that your bladder is full. The leakage is not the only problem with overflow incontinence because urine left in the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to repeated urinary tract infections.

Cause of Overflow Incontinence

Women with overflow incontinence experience two opposite problems. On the one hand, the bladder does not empty sufficiently, which is most often due to weak bladder muscles or a non-relaxing urethra. On the other hand, they can experience leakage when the bladder becomes so full that urine forces its way out. Women with overflow incontinence typically experience a diminished sensation to void and have a slow or delayed urinary stream.

There are several possible causes for this type of incontinence, the most common of which include the following:

  • A full bladder that causes a urethra blockage.
  • Prolapse of pelvic organs.
  • Damage to the nerves that control the bladder, urethral sphincter or pelvic floor muscles.
  • Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke or Parkinson's Disease.
  • Medications that can interfere with bladder function.

Diagnosis of Overflow Incontinence

If you have problems with overflow incontinence, it's important to speak with your doctor. He or she will perform a physical exam to look for signs of damage to the nerves that affect the bladder and rectum. Your doctor may also order a bladder stress test or urinalysis testing.

Your physician may recommend further urodynamic testing if he or she is considering surgery or if other treatments have failed. These specific tests provide a more advanced way to check bladder function. In general, these tests include the following:

  • Cytometry: Tests that measure bladder pressure at different levels of fullness.
  • Postvoid residual (PVR) measurements: This test measures the amount of urine that stays in your bladder after urination.
  • X-rays or ultrasound: Imaging tests show changes in the position of the bladder and urethra during urination, coughing or straining.

Treatment of Overflow Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is not something that occurs normally with age. Most people who suffer from persistent overflow incontinence turn to their doctors for treatment. The best treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence, but treatment of overflow incontinence generally includes the following:

  • Behavioral training: Several types of behavioral methods are used to treat urinary incontinence: bladder training, habit forming, biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Lifestyle changes: Losing weight or avoiding certain triggers often helps to reduce or stop overflow incontinence leakage.
  • Medications: Doctor-prescribed medications are often combined with other treatments to help reduce symptoms. These medicines work by blocking certain nerve impulses to the bladder, which relax the bladder muscle.
  • Intermittent self-catheterization: With a physician's recommendation, this is a safe and effective method of completely emptying the bladder.

Request more information about overflow incontinence today. Call (281) 824-1480 or contact us online.


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