For many women, navigating postmenopause can be challenging to navigate. To help better understand what to expect, here are a few commonly asked questions:
Can I still get pregnant now that I am postmenopausal?
When you have gone without a period for a year, chances are you will not be able to get pregnant. However, you should always use a contraceptive until you have been tested to confirm you are postmenopausal. A simple blood test, measuring your follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) will determine whether or not you are postmenopausal. If you are unsure, ask Dr. Ayalon to conduct this test.
What are Hot Flashes?
Women can experience hot flashes several years before and after menopause, while some women never experience hot flashes at all. Hot flashes are characterized by intense heat, rapid heartbeat, and sweating, and each occurrence may last as long as thirty minutes. The cause of hot flashes is linked with decreased levels of estrogen in the body as a result of menopause. When the body doesn’t have as much estrogen, it affects the ability of the hypothalamus to regulate body temperature. If you are not of the age to experience menopause and have had hot flashes, this is a sign of a problem with the pituitary gland.
How can I Treat Hot Flashes?
The most common treatment of hot flashes is in the form of hormone therapy. Treatments that utilize a mixture of estrogen and progestin hormone replacement are about 80-90% effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy should only be used to treat hot flashes and other menopause symptoms in the short term. Long term use of hormone replacement therapy has been linked to other serious health problems like strokes, breast cancer, and uterine cancer. Hormone replacement therapy should be evaluated every year.
To learn more about what to expect postmenopause, contact your gynecologist in Tarzana CA today to schedule a consultation.