• Menopause is a scary word – not just for women, but for men too. It’s a period of frequent mood change and sex drive alteration that make or break relationships. The usual age for menopause is 51, but for others, it occurs as early as 40 or later than 55. There are several reasons to see a doctor about certain menopause symptoms as well.

    Signs and Symptoms associated with Menopause

    •  Irregular periods. Your period can happen less or more often than it used to. It can also last longer or shorter than your normal cycle
    •  Sleep problems. You find it hard to fall asleep and you’re no longer able to sleep through the night
    •  Mood swings. If you have had mood swings when you used to have your period, you’re more prone to having mood swings during menopause (think crying spells, feeling cranky, etc.)
    • Hot flashes. You experience an unexpected feeling of heat in the upper parts of your body and sometimes even your whole body followed by cold sweats.
    •  Vaginal discomfort and urinary problems. Since the levels of estrogen decreases during this period, it may result to thinner and dryer vaginal walls thus, the uncomfortable feeling during sex. Estrogen is also responsible for protecting your bladder and urethra’s health, the decrease in this hormone makes you more prone to acquiring urinary tract infections.
    • Changes in sex drive. There are women who have reported increased libido while others have lessened interest in sex because it has become physically uncomfortable.
    •  Forgetfulness or memory loss. Some women experienced short bouts of memory loss during menopause.

    Going through menopause is never easy, but it can get better. Don’t just accept that it’s a natural event and that you can’t become more comfortable during menopause. There are things that you can do to gain control of the situation and the most important way to do so is by seeing a doctor for help.

    Here are some reasons why seeing a healthcare provider would be good for you.

    1. Visiting your doctor can be good for you

    Most women do away with visiting a doctor when it comes to the area “down there”. It’s embarrassing for some, and a bit uncomfortable for others; however, menopause should not be taken lightly and requires some degree of medical intervention to make signs and symptoms less burdensome.

    If you’re more comfortable talking with a female health practitioner rather than a male doctor, it won’t hurt to make the switch. Additionally, doctors are required to keep your health information confidential so you don’t have to worry about them talking about you during coffee breaks or lunch meetings.

    2. Menopause symptoms can mean something more serious

    The symptoms mentioned above are not limited to menopause alone. Some are associated with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and other serious health conditions, so it’s best to see a doctor if you have felt or have shown at least one of the symptoms.

    3. Menopause is not your life.

    Menopause is just a phase so don’t let it become your life. Most women who are going through this period feel quite restricted – there are even those that feel like their world is going to end but, the truth is, it’s not going to.

    Yes, it’s not the most enjoyable ride but, you shouldn’t make every little detail of your life about menopause. It does make every aspect of your life a bit more difficult, this is why you should schedule a visit with your doctor and get the help that you need.

    In case you don’t feel like your current doctor is taking what you’re going through seriously, find another one that does so you can figure out the best ways you can deal with the symptoms and get your life back.

    4. Seeing your gynecologist is helping yourself.

    By taking charge of your life and making the decision to seek advice from a doctor means that you’re valuing your health. In a way, it’s a gesture of loving yourself. You don’t have to feel embarrassed with what you’re going through nor do you have to embrace that it’s a natural occurrence. You just need to recognize that whether you like it or not, menopause exists and what you can do is to relieve the symptoms until it’s over.

    When choosing which doctor to visit, remember to factor in your health plan and whether or not the he or she has adapted EHR  software with a patient portal. Doing so would allow you to save on medical care costs and provide you with an easier way to schedule weekly visits as well as keep track of lab results, and prescriptions.

    photo: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

    Christina Scannapiego

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    Article by: Christina Scannapiego

    Christina lives in San Diego and has a BA from Colby College and BFA from The Academy of Art. She has been a healthcare, wellness and active lifestyle writer and editor for more than 10 years. Christina has published material for American Mobile Healthcare, MedTravelers, Staff Care and NursesRX Healthcare as well as for the San Clemente Times, the Dana Point Times, FOAM magazine and ESPN.

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