Menopause & Female Hormone Imbalance
Menopause that occurs naturally—rather than caused by surgery or a medical condition—is a part of the aging process for virtually all women. Marked by symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness, menopause involves hormonal changes that develop gradually during 3 stages: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Longevità Medical offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) at our Victor practice near Rochester, NY, to help alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Most women experience some symptoms of menopause that can range in severity and duration. Fleeting, intense sensations of heat called hot flashes—often followed by sweating and chills—are the most common symptoms associated with menopause.
As you enter perimenopause, you may notice:
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular periods or skipping periods
- Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual
Hot flashes, chills, and night sweats often begin as you transition into menopause. At this stage, you may also experience:
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
- Urinary frequency or urgency
- Emotional changes (mood swings, irritability, mild depression)
- Dry skin, dry eyes, or dry mouth
Post-menopausal women often see a decrease in the severity and duration of these symptoms.
What Causes Menopause?
Menopause is caused by significant hormonal changes that usually begin after age 50 and last several years. The ovaries—the reproductive glands that produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—stop producing high levels of hormones. Because the woman is no longer in the childbearing stage of life, hormone production drops, and ovulation and menstruation cease.
The 3 Stages of Menopause
Women experience a range of symptoms starting with perimenopause and sometimes lasting through post-menopause—a timeframe that may encompass nearly a decade.
- Perimenopause: This transition stage may emerge 8 to 10 years before the onset of menopause, often starting when a woman is in her 40s. The gradual reduction in estrogen production that signals perimenopause accelerates as a woman nears menopause. Because women continue experiencing menstrual cycles during perimenopause, they can still become pregnant. The average length of perimenopause is about 4 years, but for some women it may only last a few months.
- Menopause: A woman enters menopause when she stops having menstrual periods and that continues for 12 consecutive months. That signals that the ovaries are no longer releasing eggs and the production of estrogen has dropped significantly.
- Postmenopausal: The time after a woman has not had a menstrual period for a year is referred to as post-menopause and is often accompanied by reduced menopause symptoms. Some women, however, continue experiencing hot flashes and other symptoms for several years after menopause. Hormone levels remain low and the imbalance increases the risk of certain medical conditions, including osteoporosis and heart disease.
Options for Menopause Symptoms
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy monitored by a hormone specialist such as Julie A. Chatt at Longevità Medical not only helps relieve symptoms but also reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Many women find that BHRT helps them:
- Enjoy a more fulfilling sex life
- Manage their weight more effectively
- Stabilize their moods
- Improve cognitive functioning/focus
- Enjoy healthier skin and hair
BHRT is not for everyone. Certain medical conditions and health risks may prevent you from being a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. At Longevità Medical, we do a full medical workup prior to prescribing HRT, and we provide continued follow-up care to all of our HRT patients.
Request Your Consultation
Women experiencing symptoms of menopause who want to learn more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, including estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), at our Victor, NY, practice travel from Buffalo, Syracuse, and throughout western New York to Longevità Medical. You can request a consultation using the online form or call us at
(585) 244-1506 to schedule an appointment.