Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Now offering Menopause Services

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of fertility.  Many women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond will experience symptoms related to the change in production of estrogen.  Hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood changes, irregular vaginal bleeding, and vaginal dryness are common symptoms of menopause.  While these symptoms don’t necessarily require medical treatment, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Menopause signals a time when women could be at higher risk for hypertension, cholesterol disorders, osteoporosis, and diabetes. 

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. PPSWCF 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 if I may no longer be fertile?

PPSWCF OB-GYN providers bring an additional level of expertise to your care.

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.

MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS that should be discussed with a Health Care provider
and how a PPSWCF menopause practitioner 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 a more serious concern, 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 practitioner 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 meopause practioner 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 a 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 Practioner 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.