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Are You Experiencing Symptoms of Menopause? 

Hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood changes, irregular vaginal bleeding, and vaginal dryness are all common symptoms of menopause. While these symptoms don’t necessarily require medical treatment, they shouldn’t be ignored. At Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, we can help! 

MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS should be discussed with a health care provider, here's how we can help:

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes can range in intensity and last for years. They can be annoying and uncomfortable, or they may be a warning sign that you are at increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. The first step in your care is to manage your risk for heart disease. The second is to stop or reduce the hot flashes. Clinicians will discuss hormonal and non-hormonal options to address hot flashes.

Mood Swings

Changes in hormone levels can lead to mood swings, which can add stress to daily life. The physical changes experienced during menopause can also be emotionally draining. This is normal. Each woman experiences menopause and its effects differently. Often, changes in diet and exercise, and possibly anti-depressants and other medication, can improve mood swings.

Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Bleeding

Estrogen provides lubrication. Without it, it’s common to experience dryer, thinner vaginal walls that can cause discomfort, pain during sex, and vaginal bleeding. Irregular vaginal bleeding should be checked out by a specialist because in rare cases, it could be a sign of more serious concerns, including cancer. However, it’s more likely a result of vaginal dryness, and can be treated with prescription estrogen creams or noninvasive laser therapy. A menopause specialist can help determine which treatment is best.

Concerns About Weight Gain

Many women gain weight during the menopause transition. The hormonal changes of menopause predispose women to gain weight around the abdomen. However, hormonal changes alone do not cause weight gain. Weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors. A menopause specialist can help determine if any weight gain is negatively impacting health and make a plan to address any concerns.

Sleep Disturbance

Sleeplessness due to menopause is often associated with hot flashes. These unpleasant sensations of extreme heat can come on during the day or night. Nighttime hot flashes are often paired with unexpected awakenings. The menopause clinician will design an individualized plan to address the sleep disturbance. This plan might include exercise, medication or other therapies.

Loss of Libido

Many women note a decrease in sexual desire around menopause. This could be due to a drop in estrogen and testosterone levels. It can also be caused by painful intercourse due to lack of lubrication, vaginismus or vaginal atrophy.  A trained menopause specialist can discuss options to enhance sexual function and intimacy.

Osteoporosis Risk Increase

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, increasing the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Many times, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures. Women over the age of 50 have the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. A menopause specialist will assess osteoporosis risk through a thorough medical history and determine if a bone mineral density test should be ordered. Treatments for osteoporosis include medication, calcium and Vitamin D, weight bearing exercise and hormone therapy. 

How Does Treatment Work?

Low-dose hormone therapy can be effective in alleviating hot flashes but must be tailored for you. This is accomplished through a one-on-one discussion with your clinician who will also explore your health history to thoroughly assess your health risks. Personalizing this treatment with guidance by a specialist is important. Our clinicians will recommend an FDA-approved hormone therapy if it is right for you.

What to Expect From My Visit?

During a telemedicine or in clinic visit, our menopause specialists may ask questions to better understand how menopause symptoms are affecting quality of life, including your sex life.  They will determine whether the need for additional testing or treatment and develop an individualized plan for each patient. 

Why Choose Planned Parenthood? 

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida clinicians specialize in providing care for women at this stage of life and can help women stay healthy and feeling their best now and in the years ahead.

Why Planned Parenthood for menopause?

Our clinicians are trusted experts in all facets of sexual and reproductive health care. We’re here to provide you with the care and information you need to stay healthy throughout your life.

More often than not, women see their primary care doctor for an annual checkup but don’t discuss menopause symptoms like night sweats or vaginal dryness or painful sex because it could be an awkward conversation, or women just hope the symptoms will just go away. For some women, menopause symptoms will eventually end. However, discussing these concerns is important because a Clinician may recommend treatments that can help women find relief in the meantime, or, they may suggest testing to confirm that symptoms are not related to a more serious concern. 

If women are uncomfortable talking with their doctor about these personal symptoms or aren’t satisfied with the doctor’s answers to questions about menopause, consider seeking out a menopause specialist.

Common Issues Surrounding Sexuality and Menopause

What Women Need to Know About Hormone Therapies

Treatment Options for Vaginal Dryness and Urinary Issues

Bone Health: What You Need to Know

Ready to schedule your appointment? 

Call 941-556-0710 to schedule telehealth appointment.

Call (941) 556-0710

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