We Champion Women's Health and Wellness
Staying healthy should be as convenient as possible. We have women’s health locations all around Puget Sound.
Menopause is a natural process that happens to every woman and does not require medical care. Some women may seek treatment to relieve symptoms during menopause. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, our experienced gynecologists and women’s health providers offer comprehensive care to minimize symptoms and monitor your overall health.
What is menopause?
Menopause occurs when a woman stops having periods, which indicates the end of her reproductive years. It usually happens naturally between the ages of 45 and 55. Induced menopause occurs when a woman has her ovaries removed.
Menopause occurs because the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. After she has not had a period for at least 12 months, a woman has reached menopause. Symptoms can begin several years earlier in a transitional phase called perimenopause and include:
- A change in menstrual periods: shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time in between
- Hair changes: Less on head, more on face
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Mood swings
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
Managing menopause symptoms
If your symptoms are moderate to severe, our gynecologists can provide treatment to help manage them. Some of our treatment options include:
- Oral contraceptive (birth control) pills to manage irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness
- Medications for vaginal discomfort
- Menopausal hormone therapy to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and bone loss
Comprehensive care after menopause
After menopause, women are at a higher risk for developing heart disease or osteoporosis because of the lower levels of estrogen. Speak with your physician to find out how you can prevent these diseases through lifestyle changes.
Your physician can assess your risk through your personal and family medical history. You may need tests to check for signs of heart disease or osteoporosis, such as:
- Bone mineral density test, known as DEXA, to measure bone loss
- Blood pressure test or blood cholesterol test to assess your heart health
Find a provider for menopause care
To make an appointment with one of our gynecologists or other women’s health specialists, find a provider online or call 1-888-825-3227 for a referral, 24 hours a day.