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What is Menopause?

Menopause is the time in your life when you naturally stop having menstrual periods. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop making estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle. Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years. The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years.


Hot Flashes

A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. A hot flash may last from a few seconds to several minutes or longer. Some women have hot flashes a few times a month. Others have them several times a day. Hot flashes that happen at night (night sweats) may wake you up and cause you to feel tired and sluggish during the day. For more information on hot flashes click here

Skin Changes

Goodbye period means goodbye estrogen, the hormone that makes your skin soft, smooth, and full. It’s your natural filler and prevents wrinkling and thinning of the skin.

Treatment of skin changes:

Hair Changes

-Hair may begin to thin and turn gray to white.

  • Nutrofol is a great supplement to keep your hair as thick as possible as you age.

-Pubic hair can turn gray to white as well. 

  • Just like the hair on the head, the hair on the rest of the body, including the pubic area, is subject to graying.

  • As people age, their skin produces less melanin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for giving skin and hair its color.

  • The hair follicles contain melanin. As people age, these follicles begin to die off, and there is less melanin in the hair.

  • As the follicles die and melanin decreases, the color of the hair fades to silver, gray, or white. This process happens with hair all over the body, including pubic hair.

Premature pubic gray hair can be caused by:

  • Smoking.

  • Stress.

  • Genetics.

  • Pubic lice: a curable affliction treated with one treatment of permethrin.

    • When treating pubic lice, it is also a good idea to thoroughly wash bedding, underwear, and swimwear.

Can gray pubic hair be treated?

Sleep Issues

You may have insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or you may wake up long before your usual time. Night sweats may disrupt your sleep. Treatment includes exercise combined with a short course of sleep aids (such as Ambien). But let's not forget sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea often feel tired or sleepy during the day. If you snore, or your partner notices episodes of apnea we should have you evaluated by our sleep specialists. 

Equelle: a non-prescription supplement that has been clinically proven to add 50 minutes of sleep to your night. 

Vaginal Dryness 

Vaginal changes - As estrogen levels decrease, the lining of the vagina may become thinner, dryer, and less elastic. Vaginal dryness may cause pain during sex. Vaginal infections also may occur more often.  

Sex Drive

Decreased libido: for more information click here.

Pelvic Floor Support

Lack of estrogen causes thinning of the tissue supporting the bladder. Also, muscle weakness can increase with age leading to weaker bladder and sphincter muscles. The urethra can become dry, inflamed, or irritated. You may find yourself running to the bathroom all day or losing urine when you cough or sneeze. You may also suffer from more frequent urinary tract infections. Vaginal estrogen may help with these symptoms along with pelvic floor exercises (Kegel).


 “I can feel the hormonal changes happening: The sweating. The moods. You’re just like all of a sudden furious for no reason.”  
- Gwyneth Paltrow


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Why can’t I lose the pounds no matter what I do?

Reason: Your metabolism slows with every decade of life. The decline in estrogen adds to this metabolic slowdown. What worked in the past, may not work now.  

  • Try intermittent fasting and sticking to two or three meals a day max is a big help.

  • Muscle mass goes down with age — try weight-bearing exercise.

Bone Loss

During the first 4–8 years after menopause, women lose bone rapidly. This rapid loss occurs because of the decreased levels of estrogen. If too much bone is lost, it can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fracture. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are affected most often. Exercise is essential. Calcium (either through diet or supplement) along with Vitamin D is also very important in keeping bones strong. 

Heart Disease

When less estrogen is made after menopause, women lose much of this protection. Midlife also is the time when risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and being physically inactive, are more common. All of these combined factors increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in menopausal women. 


Hormone therapy can help with fatigue caused by menopause. 

Exercise and hydration work wonders.

Emotional Changes

Some of the emotional changes experienced by women undergoing menopause can include:

  • Irritability

  • Feelings of sadness

  • Lack of motivation

  • Anxiety

  • Aggressiveness

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Fatigue

  • Mood changes

  • Tension

Here are some tips that may make it easier for you to handle your fluctuating emotions:

  • Exercise and eat healthy.

  • Find a self-calming skill to practice, such as yoga, meditation, or rhythmic breathing.

  • Avoid tranquilizers and alcohol.

  • Engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement.

  • Stay connected with your family and community.

  • Nurture your friendships.

  • Ginseng: has been shown to boost mood and improve sleep.  

  • St. John's Wort: particularly when combined with black cohosh -- may improve mood and smooth the mood swings tied to menopause. 

Although depression is not caused by menopause, some women exhibit the symptoms of depression during this time. If you are feeling increasingly unable to cope, you may consider medicine, such as antidepressants, or therapy that can get you through this rough time.



Brain Fog

Unfortunately, difficulty with concentration and minor memory problems can often be a normal part of perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause (defined as not having a period for a year). The good news is that it is likely to be temporary. Current medical knowledge is limited as to why memory changes occur with perimenopause.


Prevention/Treatment of brain fog


Eat a well-balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other unsaturated fats.

Good food choices include:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables

  • whole grains

  • fish

  • beans and nuts

  • olive oil


Get enough rest - Your sleep quality may make your “brain fog” worse.  

What you can do to help your sleep:

  • Avoid eating large meals before bedtime. And steer clear of spicy or acidic foods. They may cause hot flashes.

  • Skip stimulants like caffeine and nicotine before bed. Alcohol may also disrupt your sleep.

  • Dress for success. Don’t wear heavy clothing or pile on lots of blankets in bed. Turning down the thermostat or using a fan may help keep you cool.

  • Work on relaxation. Stress can make snoozing even more difficult. Try deep breathing, yoga, or massage.


Exercise your body

Regular physical activity is recommended for all people, including women going through menopause. Researchers believe that exercise may even help with symptoms like memory issues.

What you can do:

  • Try getting 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days a week for a total of 150 minutes. Activities to try include walking, jogging, cycling, and water aerobics.

  • Incorporate strength training into your routine as well. Try lifting free weights or using weight machines at your gym at least twice a week. Do eight exercises with 8 to 12 repetitions.


Exercise your mind

Your brain needs regular workouts as you age. Try doing crossword puzzles or starting a new hobby, like playing the piano. Getting out socially may help as well. Even keeping a list of the things you need to do during the day may help you organize your mind when you’re feeling foggy. Turn off the screen. 

  • Try puzzles.

  • Play cards.

  • Build vocabulary.

  • Read something different. 

  • Use your senses.

  • Learn a new skill.

  • Listen to music.

  • Brain training websites (Lumosity, Sudoku, Peak, Happy Neuron, Braingle).


  • Nutrition—Eating a balanced diet will help you stay healthy before, during, and after menopause. Be sure to include enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help maintain strong bones. If you don't get enough in your diet, you need a calcium supplement such as Oscal or Caltrate. Get in fruits and veg every day. 

  • Exercise—Regular exercise slows down bone loss and improves your overall health. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, can help keep bones strong. Also good for your heart and mind. Strength training strengthens your muscles and bones by resisting weight, such as your own body, an exercise band, or handheld weights. Balance training, such as yoga and tai chi, may help you avoid falls, which could lead to broken bones.

  • Routine health care—Pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies. Visit your healthcare professional once a year to have regular exams and tests. Dental checkups and eye exams are important, too. Routine health care visits, even if you are not sick, can help detect problems early.

  • Skincare: Use sunscreen! Use a moisturizer daily with a separate routine for the skin around the eye (the most sensitive skin on the body).

  • Exercise your mind: Try a puzzle, learn a new skill, listen to music, call a friend. Turn off the screen. 

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