Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life, but it can still be difficult. Thomas Bickley, DO, and Eericca Bickley, DO, of Arizona Women’s Health Partners can help determine whether a patient is near menopause. They can also provide effective treatments to help women deal with symptoms. Patients concerned about menopause should contact Arizona Women’s Health Partners in Mesa, AZ and serving Gilbert, AZ to make an appointment.
Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life that occurs when the menstrual cycle stops. The medical community defines menopause as the absence of menstrual periods for at least 12 months. However, before a woman officially reaches menopause, she will spend time going through perimenopause, which may cause uncomfortable or inconvenient symptoms.
During the reproductive years, the body produces hormones that stimulate the ovaries to release eggs and the uterus to thicken its lining. If a released egg becomes fertilized, pregnancy may result. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the uterine lining sheds during menstruation. Menopause occurs when the body stops producing enough of these hormones to stimulate ovulation and the menstrual cycle.
During perimenopause -- the period at the onset of menopause marked by various physical signs -- women may experience:
Some of these symptoms may continue even after menstrual periods have stopped completely.
The average age of menopause in the United States is 51. However, some women may experience menopause earlier or later in life.
Patients who experience significant symptoms because of perimenopause or menopause may benefit from hormone replacement therapy, vaginal estrogen, antidepressants, and medications to prevent osteoporosis. Each of these treatments has advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Thomas or Dr. Eericca will explain all of these options in detail so that women can make the choice that’s right for them.
Systemic hormone replacement therapy can alleviate many of the worst symptoms of menopause, but it also poses certain health risks. Studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of:
When a woman goes through menopause before the age of 40, it’s known as “premature menopause.” Premature menopause can occur because of surgical procedures to remove reproductive organs, or it may occur on its own. Premature menopause is often unavoidable, but it can increase the risk of certain health problems, including:
For this reason, women who go through premature menopause may need to consider hormone therapy and/or medications to prevent bone loss.
*We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please call our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions. Please note to check with your insurance or call the office to make certain that we are on your specific insurance plan as they are constantly changing.*