Menopause

RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Elmhurst, IL, Westchester, IL, Hinsdale, IL, Oak Park, IL & Addison, IL

If you’re experiencing hot flashes or mood swings, you may be going through menopause, which occurs at age 51 on average. The OB/GYNs at RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology offer diagnosis and treatment tailored to your stage of life. The practice has five convenient locations in Elmhurst, Addison, Westchester, Oak Park, and Hinsdale, Illinois, so you can get the menopause care you need today. Call your nearest office for an appointment or book a consultation online.

Menopause Q & A

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural life-stage generally defined as missing your period for 12 consecutive months. 

Menopause not only marks the end of your childbearing years, but it also causes significant changes in your body. Your ovaries make less and less estrogen, and the level of other hormones in your body also declines. 

Because these changes can be significant, it’s an excellent time to consult with a practitioner at RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology. They assess whether you're in menopause and help to manage the symptoms. 

They can also help with perimenopause symptoms, which occur before you officially enter menopause but may have a similar effect. 

Is perimenopause different than menopause?

The years leading up to menopause are known as perimenopause. This normal life phase begins in your 30s and 40s, producing changes in your body. 

Slowly, the amount of estrogen your ovaries produce begins to fluctuate. You may see changes in your menstrual cycle. Your periods may become longer or shorter, or you may skip periods some months. 

Your menstrual flow becomes lighter or heavier. Although changes in your flow are normal during perimenopause, you still want to tell your practitioner at RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology about them. Unusual bleeding could signal an underlying health issue.

What are the signs of menopause?

Each woman’s experience with menopause is unique. You may experience different symptoms than a friend is noticing. Common perimenopause symptoms include but aren’t limited to:

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Moodiness
  • Memory problems
  • Less desire for sex
  • Incontinence
  • Bladder infections
  • Weight gain 

Vaginal dryness and vaginal infections also become more prevalent in menopause.

Are there health risks with menopause?

Bone loss is one of the most common side effects of menopause. During the first 4-8 years after menopause, you lose bone more rapidly because of low estrogen levels. This can increase your risk of osteoporosis, which may make you more prone to bone fractures. 

Estrogen also protects you from the risk of heart attack or stroke, and less estrogen may increase your risk. This time of your life is also when risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can increase your risk of a heart attack. 

During a visit to RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology, your practitioner assesses your risk for these conditions. They recommend appropriate treatment, such as hormone therapy.

If you’re experiencing the signs of menopause, visit RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology for appropriate screening and care to promote your optimal health. Call today or schedule a consultation online.