Menopause: After 5 Years, Why Are Hot Flashes Starting Now?

middle-aged woman with glasses during menopause

Menopause: After 5 Years, Why Are Hot Flashes Starting Now?

Menopause affects women differently. Years after their last periods, women ask me all the time why symptoms such as hot flashes, dryness, and irritability are just starting. You may be wondering the same thing! Don’t worry – you are not alone and we can help.

What Is Menopause, Really?

Menopause is considered to be the final menstrual period. More specifically, it’s when a woman stops ovulating. An ovulating woman’s ovaries secrete estrogen in the form of estradiol, estrone, and progesterone. If she doesn’t get pregnant, a woman should have her period two weeks after ovulation. You can never guess which menses will be your last, so the accepted definition of menopause is signaled by 12 months of no menses.

MENOPAUSE WITHOUT MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

Even without common symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and changing emotions, it’s clear that the women who ask me these questions are indeed in menopause. Each individual woman will react to the changing levels of estrogen differently. For many, this will depend on the degree of these ups and downs in estrogen, their individual sensitivity to these changes, their mental state, and even their weight and other factors. For example, women who are considerably overweight are less like to experience more symptoms, as fat cells secreting estrogen-like substances can make symptoms milder. Granted, there are certainly negatives to being overweight, such as a greater risk of breast cancer.

If you are in the large group of women who have experienced few or very mild symptoms thus far, you may now be reaching your own “tipping point” if you will. While factors like your estrogen levels and others may have contributed to you easing into menopause more smoothly than other women, it may now be your time to become symptomatic.

What Can You Do?

So now that you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, what should you do? Well, our office has many ways to help you deal with this perfectly normal stage of your life! For example, we specialize in hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If you start HRT within the first five years of menopause, it can even reduce your risk of cardiovascular death and cognitive decline by 30%. It can also help protect your bones from osteoporosis, which are some of the more serious health concerns associated with menopause.

Let’s talk about your options in a private, confidential consultation. We are happy to do virtual consultations over the phone, Zoom, Skype, or Facetime! It’s not too late to help you manage your menopausal symptoms and embrace this beautiful stage in your life.

I have always had a vision to provide women with awareness, options, and solutions. I take pride in providing a safe space for women to explore choices for their sexual health, rejuvenating their appearance, and improving their lives. I understand the intensely personal and sexual health issues involved in these surgeries and am dedicated to patients having the best outcomes with the highest levels of safety and comfort. If you have questions, please contact my office and make arrangements for a personal consultation!