Symptoms of Perimenopause and HRT Options
Perimenopause starts a few years before actual menopause. During this time, your ovaries start making less estrogen gradually. Typically, women in their 40s experience perimenopause; however, it can start in your 30s or earlier. It continues on up until menopause which is when your ovaries stop releasing eggs. In your last couple years of perimenopause, this estrogen drop speeds up and this is where you usually experience menopause symptoms.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
Throughout perimenopause you may experience some mild and not so subtle body changes, including:
As ovulation starts getting more random, the time length between your periods could become shorter or longer, you might skip periods or your flow might be heavy or light. If there’s a persistent change in the length of your menstrual cycle for seven days or more, chances are you coul be in early perimenopause. However, if you experience a 60 day or more space between your periods, it could be that you’re in late perimenopause.
Irritability, mood swings and an increased depression risk could occur during perimenopause. Sleep disruption linked with hot flashes could be the cause of symptoms like these. Mood changes might also be due to factors not related to perimenopause-related hormonal changes.
Sleep Problems and Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a common symptom during perimenopause. The length, intensity and frequency can vary. You may also have sleep problems because of night sweats or hot flashes, but you could have problems sleeping even without these symptoms.
Bladder and Vaginal Problems
When your levels of estrogen diminish, the tissues of your vagina might lose elasticity and lubrication, which can make intercourse painful. Having low estrogen could also leave you more susceptible to vaginal or urinary infections. You may also experience urinary incontinence because of loss of tissue tone.
Loss of Bone
With reduced estrogen levels, you begin to lose bone more rapidly than you do replace it and this increases your risk of osteoporosis.
As you start experiencing irregular ovulation, it decreases your ability to conceive. But, if you’re still having periods, you can still get pregnant. If you want to avoid becoming pregnant, you’ll want to use birth control until you stop having periods for 12 months.
Sexual Function Changes
Your sexual arousal and desire could change during perimenopause. However, if your sexual intimacy was satisfactory before menopause, this will probably continue throughout your perimenopause time and beyond.
Cholesterol Level Changes
Reduced estrogen levels can cause unfavorable changes in your levels of blood cholesterol. This includes your “bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, contributing to a higher risk of heart disease. Also, your “good” cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreases as you age, increasing your risk of heart disease.
There are a handful of hormone replacement options that can help with the symptoms of perimenopause. Some include:
O-Shot or The Platelet-Rich Plasma Shot
The O-Shot is known as the Orgasm Shot and is an all-natural, revolutionary and non-surgical procedure where platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is used for revitalizing and rejuvenating clitoral and vaginal function. This treatment is the perfect option for those experiencing perimenopause who have reduced estrogen and loss of sexual desire because of a dry vagina.
Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation is a type of non-surgical treatment for vaginal tightening. It restructures and restores destroyed tissue effectively with no anesthetic, pain or numbing cream. A board-certified doctor performs the treatment to ensure safe, optimal results.
The treatment stimulates collagen re-growth for tighter tissue. It is made to make a smaller vaginal canal, but some individuals have found it also lessens urinary incontinence after its vaginal tightening effect.
Other HR options
A lot of women take low-dose birth control pills for a short period and find relief from hot flashes. Other options that can help control hot flashes are the birth control vaginal ring, skin patch and progesterone injections. Birth control hormones are another option women have.
Consult with Dr. Harry Collins at Savannah Age Management Medicine about the perimenopause or menopause symptoms you’re experiencing and your treatment goals. He work with you to tailor a treatment plan right for you. Call (912) 324-7848 today.