Theresa R Benecki, MD
Gynecologist located in Brick, NJ
Menopause marks the end of your childbearing years and occurs when you go 12 consecutive months without your period. Though menopause is a natural part of a woman’s aging process, it causes symptoms that you may find disruptive to your daily life. At Pineland Associates in Brick, New Jersey, experienced gynecologist Theresa Benecki, MD, specializes in the management of menopause and its related symptoms. For comprehensive women’s health care, call the office, or book an appointment through the online scheduling tool today.
Menopause Q & A
What is menopause?
Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating. You officially reach menopause when you go one full year without your period. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51.
It occurs because your ovaries no longer produce estrogen or progesterone, which are the hormones that control your menstrual cycle.
Though menopause has a definitive start date, you may experience some of the signs and symptoms of menopause in your 30s or 40s. This period of time is known as perimenopause and occurs because of fluctuations in hormone production.
You may remain in perimenopause for months or years until you officially reach menopause.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause symptoms vary in type and severity and may start months or years before your menstrual cycle stops. Common menopause symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Low libido
- Mood changes
- Difficulty focusing
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
In addition to your physical symptoms, the changes in your hormone levels may also affect bone health, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
When should I start medical care for menopause?
Dr. Benecki may start talking to you about menopause at your annual well-woman exam before you have any symptoms. It’s important to be aware of what to expect and the steps you need to take to maintain health and well-being.
That being said, Dr. Benecki recommends you schedule an appointment if you start experiencing some of the symptoms of menopause, especially if they’re severe and affecting your quality of life.
Dr. Benecki conducts a comprehensive examination when you come in for a menopause consultation, including lab work to check your hormone levels.
How is menopause managed?
You can’t stop menopause, but Dr. Benecki provides treatments to alleviate your uncomfortable symptoms.
For many women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a safe and effective treatment for hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. HRT also benefits bone health and may reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Other non-hormonal treatments for menopause symptoms include:
- Low-dose antidepressants for hot flashes and mood changes
- Gabapentin for hot flashes and night sweats
- Clonidine for hot flashes
- Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants for vaginal dryness
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements for bone health
Dr. Benecki also talks to you about lifestyle changes to help you maintain a healthy weight and improve overall well-being.
Menopause is a natural biological process that affects every woman in different ways. For a personalized approach to your menopause from an experienced gynecologist, make an appointment at Pineland Associates by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling button.