Menopause

Menopause


 Do you experience the following?
 

  •     Irregular menstrual cycles or bleeding
  •     Hot flashes
  •     Abdominal weight gain
  •     Sleep distrubances
  •     Low libido
  •     Vaginal dryness
  •     Mood changes: anxiety, depression, irritability
  •     Fatigue
  •     Urinary incontinence or increased frequency
  •     Osteoporosis
  •     Changes in hair and skin: dryness, hair loss, acne


If you are beginning to experience some of the above symtpoms, you may be entering peri-menopause or menopause. Naturopathic Medicine offers safe, effective, natural treatments to help stabilize hormones and balance the inflammatory response. Naturopathic Doctors are currently not able to prescribe bio-identical hormone therapy in the province of Ontario. However, there are effective botanical and supplementary options. If you are interested in bio-identical hormone therapy, your Naturopathic Doctor may be able to assist your Family Doctor in writing a prescription.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a naturallly occuring phase of a women's life when the ovaries no longer release eggs or produce estrogen and progesterone. The term menopause literally means a pause in menstruation. Menopause is considered "official" when menstrual periods have ceased for a full year and hormone levels have shifted (see hormone changes below). The average age of menopause is between 50 and 52 years old, but this number can vary.

What is peri-menopause?

There is a period of peri-menopause that can last for several years prior to becoming fully menopausal. During this time periods become irregular and some sypmtoms of menopause may being to manifest (see list below). The average age of perimenopause is 47 years old.

What is premature or early menopause?

Premature menopause (also known as premature ovarian failure or POF) is a condition of early menopause, usually before the age of 40 years old. This can occur for a wide variety of reasons including genetic predisposition, disease, pelvic radiation, chemotherapy, cigarette smoking and some appear to be spontaneous and are considered idopathic in nature.

Induced menopause occurs after both ovaries have been surgically removed. This is known as an oophorectomy and may occur in conjunction with a hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus). This type of surgery can cause sudden and dramatic symptoms in women.

Here is a brief list of the biological changes that occur during perimenopause leading into menopause:
 

  •     Ovarian egg numbers decrease
  •     Menstrual cycles become irregular
  •     Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels increase
  •     Estradiol, progesterone and testosterone levels begin to decrease
  •     Low estrogen levels may not occur until 6 months before true menopause
  •     Estrogen levels will rise dramatically before dropping rapidly
  •     It is the changes in several hormone levels that contribute to menopausal symptoms
     
 
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