For some women, the symptoms of menopause can affect their quality of life so severely that avoiding treatment is not an option.
The main symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disturbances, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, night sweats, weight gain and slowed metabolism, thinning hair and dry skin.
The recommendations for the treatment of menopause are that a patient be on the lowest possible dose of estrogen for the shortest period of time. This varies for every patient, and is a decision the patient makes based on her symptoms.
Many patients begin their treatment with a trial of herbal supplements. The two studied herbal supplements that show improvement in menopausal symptoms are Soy and Black Cohash. The recommended dose of Soy for menopausal treatment is a daily dose of 100 mg of soy isoflavones. The recommended dose of Black Cohash for menopausal treatment is 20-40 milligram tablets of a standardized extract taken twice a day.
If herbal supplements are not enough to improve symptoms, then estrogen supplements can be considered. Estrogen can be given in a cream form, gel form, pill form, patch form for the treatment of systemic symptoms. We will discuss with you your symptoms, how they affect on your quality of life, your desire to start estrogen if you have one, and which type of estrogen you prefer.
If your symptoms are not systemic but only vaginal, estrogen can be given locally in the vagina to treat symptoms, without having to put medicine through your entire system. In addition, the Mona Lisa Touch laser can treat vaginal symptoms without estrogen.
Patient preference guides menopausal treatment decisions. We are happy to discuss all options with you.