Have you been experiencing hot flashes? Are you having difficulty sleeping? Has your desire for sex been decreasing? You are not alone! There are millions of other women going through menopause who might be experiencing similar symptoms. Menopause can cause a lot of changes in your body, cause you to experience a variety of undesirable symptoms and can put you at risk for many diseases. The good news is that you can take charge of your health and learn how to enjoy this new phase of your life!
There are over 45 million women living in the United States post menopause and some women will spend as much as half of their lives post menopause. About 2 million women every year reach menopause, but the change is not swift and sudden and the perimenopause transition can last a few years for some women. Therefore it is important to learn how to comfortably manage the changes associated with menopause.
Having information and reducing health risks are important to feeling your best starting with the basics. As at all stages of life, it is beneficial to eat healthy, exercise regularly, control blood pressure, manage diabetes, and not smoke. This will reduce your cardiovascular risk, provide you with stronger bones and reduce your risk for many cancers.
For specific menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, there are many treatment options. From small behavioral interventions, to herbal products, to pharmaceutical interventions, such as hormonal and non-hormonal medications, you should be able to find a treatment that works for you. Each woman is different and may experience different symptoms. Be open to discussing your options with your doctor. There are many facets of your health that will help determine which are the best options for you.
Menopause is the beginning of a whole new phase of a woman’s life, and I encourage every woman to make the best of it by keeping healthy and staying active.
Take charge! Free event – September 22
- “Women 40 and Beyond: Taking Charge of Your Physical and Financial Health.” Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The event is free, but registration is required. Visit the event’s web page for more information.
Maya Hammoud, MD, is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Professor of Medical Education at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). Dr. Hammoud developed and directs the Middle Eastern Women’s Health Program, of which the primary mission is to provide culturally sensitive health care services to women of Middle Eastern origin.
The University of Michigan’s Women’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital is a leader women’s health care. Consistently ranked among the America’s top gynecology programs by U.S. News & World Report, U-M is committed to unsurpassed patient care.