Menopause

Monica E. Lopez, M.D.


Trust Women’s Integrated Healthcare to manage menopause

Menopause marks the time in a woman’s life when her periods stop. As a woman ages, she begins to produce decreasing amounts of estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries and is needed to have a menstrual cycle. As a result, periods start to become irregular and eventually stop.

Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause and it can last several years. When a woman has not had her period for a year, she can say she has been through menopause and is now postmenopausal and no longer able to become pregnant. The average age of menopause is 51, but it can start as early as 40 or well into the 50s.

Symptoms and risks

Every woman will experience menopause differently. Symptoms can include:

  • Hot flashes, which is the most common symptom and experienced by as many as 75 percent of women
  • Lack of sleep, often caused by night sweats or insomnia
  • Changes in mood, including depression and irritability, which can be exacerbated by disruption in sleep
  • Vaginal dryness, which can make the vagina more prone to infections and cause pain during sexual intercourse
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Urinary tract changes that can lead to an increased risk of urinary tract infections and incontinence
  • Weight gain, particularly in the stomach area

Following menopause, women can be at an increased risk for:

  • Osteoporosis due to a higher rate of bone loss
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Stay healthy during and after

Because of the many issues that can accompany menopause, talking with our all-female team of OBs is very important. At Women’s Integrated Healthcare, we will make sure that your health is carefully monitored. We will also educate you on ways to stay healthy during and after menopause.

  • Stop smoking
  • Adopt a healthy diet
  • Get proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Do weight-bearing exercise

Hormone replacement therapy is carefully monitored

Symptoms of menopause can be merely irritating, but sometimes they can be more serious and even disruptive to daily living. Despite your best efforts, we understand that sometimes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will be needed. Our experienced OBs know that HRT does involve some risks. That’s why we carefully monitor our patients, prescribe the lowest dosage levels needed and typically limit usage to four years or fewer when possible.

Early menopause needs attention

If menopause happens before 40, it is considered early menopause. Causes of early menopause range from primary ovarian deficiency to family history. If you are showing signs of early menopause and still want to have children, it is especially important to talk with one of our knowledgeable OBs.

Although menopause is a normal part of life, it can be a difficult one. Our skilled and compassionate physicians at Women’s Integrated Healthcare can provide you with the information you need to understand the changes you are experiencing and the treatment options available. We encourage women from Colleyville, Keller and the surrounding areas to contact our Alliance or Grapevine OB team to set up an appointment today.