Menopausal Management

What is menopause?

Menopause is a normal, natural event—defined as the final menstrual period and usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). Menopause is associated with reduced functioning of the ovaries due to aging, resulting in lower levels of estrogen and other hormones. It marks the permanent end of fertility. Menopause occurs, on average, at age 51. The years between puberty (when periods start) and menopause are called premenopause.

What is perimenopause?

Physical signs of menopause begin many years before the final menstrual period. This menopause transition phase is called perimenopause (literally meaning “around menopause”). It can last 6 years or more, and ends 1 year after the final menstrual period.

Treatments

MonaLisa Touch
Triangle Physicians for Women now offers MonaLisa Touch to treat vaginal health after menopause.  This in-office treatment delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall that stimulates a healing response, generating new collagen in the tissue.  A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

Benefits:MonaLisa Touch Machine

  • In-office procedure
  • No anesthesia, virtually painless
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is less than 5 minutes
  • Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2012

In both European and US clinical trials, women reported symptom relief after the very first treatment and even greater improvement after treatments 2 and 3.

  • What is hormone therapy?

    Several prescription drugs are available to help relieve menopause-related symptoms and decrease long-term health risks across the menopause transition and beyond. Hormone therapies are the prescription drugs used most often when treating menopause symptoms.

    • Estrogen therapy (ET) has been widely studied and used for more than 50 years by millions of women. Many kinds of estrogen therapy are available in the United States and Canada to treat menopause-related symptoms. A variety of estrogen types, delivery systems, and dosage strengths give each woman a better chance to find which option is best for her.
    • Progestogen, another hormone, has sometimes been used alone during perimenopause to treat symptoms such as hot flashes, to manage abnormal uterine bleeding, or to counter “estrogen dominance” that can occur in some women as estrogen levels fluctuate to high levels during this transition. There are various progestogen options, and they allow tailoring to a woman’s unique needs.
    • Combined estrogen-progestogen therapy (EPT) with various dosing schedules (often called “regimens”) can also be used for menopause-related symptoms. These regimens include taking estrogen and progestogen separately or through convenient combination EPT products. Each woman should feel comfortable exploring different options with her clinician to determine which is best for her.

    What are bioidentical hormones?

    Sometimes custom-compounded hormones are referred to as “bioidentical hormones” or “natural hormones.” These terms mean different things to different people. To scientists and healthcare providers, bioidentical hormones are those that are chemically identical to the hormones produced by women (primarily in the ovaries) during their reproductive years. A woman’s body can make various estrogens (such as 17beta-estradiol, estrone, and estriol) as well as progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones. Thus, bioidentical hormone therapy can mean a medication that provides one or more of these hormones as the active ingredient.