Perimenopause | Menopause
Female Gynecologist in Covington, LA
Stefanie A. Schultis, M.D.
Vaginal atrophy is a common issue in post-menopausal women and in those at least five years from menopause. Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include dryness and pain with sex. Often, women are uncomfortable to discuss this issue with their doctors, and this highly treatable condition persists. Talk to us!
What’s the difference between perimenopause and menopause?
Perimenopause refers to the period of time right before menopause begins.
During perimenopause, your body is beginning the transition into menopause. That means that hormone production from your ovaries is beginning to decline. You may begin to experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it won’t cease during the perimenopause stage.
What Are the Signs of Perimenopause?
Women in perimenopause have at least some these symptoms:
Worse premenstrual syndrome
Lower sex drive
Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
Urinary urgency (an urgent need to urinate more frequently)
Once you completely stop having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, you’ve entered menopause.
Menopause is a natural biological process. But, the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. Dr. Stefanie Schultis will explain the many effective treatments available from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.
Menopause symptoms, including changes in menstruation, are different for every woman. Most likely, you'll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end. Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and shorter cycles may occur as well. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you've skipped a period but aren't sure you've started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test.
Menopause can also increase your risk for certain conditions like osteoporosis. You may find that getting through menopause requires little medical attention. Or, you may decide you need to discuss symptoms and treatment options with Dr. Stefanie A. Schultis.