5 Reasons to Ask Your Doctor for Help with Your Menopause Symptoms

5 Reasons to Ask Your Doctor for Help with Your Menopause Symptoms

Most of us hate going to the doctor. Often when a health problem arises, we tend to ignore it, thinking it might soon go away. We are too busy, too embarrassed, or possibly too scared to make the trip and find out what is wrong. When it comes to menopause symptoms, studies have shown women seek their doctors’ help even less than in other situations.

This is a perfectly natural reaction, but to stay in the best of health, it is not a practical one. Although this is a subject many of us would like to avoid, it’s time to face the facts.

Here are five reasons why you should see a doctor about your menopause symptoms.

  1. Not Asking Your Doctor Doesn’t Make It Go Away

    There is this myth floating about the internet that there’s nothing a doctor can do. While menopause is a perfectly natural stage in life, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should leave things to nature. You have absolutely nothing to lose by going to the doctor.

    A REVEAL study showed that only 44% of the women who experienced dryness and painful sex at menopause initiated a conversation with their health care professionals. Fifty-one percent of them said they learned to live with the vaginal symptoms of menopause as a part of getting older.

    “When women in the survey were asked, in an unaided question, to name the cause of their VVA symptoms only 24% of the women attributed their symptoms directly to menopause,” says Sheryl A. Kingsberg, Ph.D, Chief, Division of Behavioral Medicine University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

    So ladies, it’s time to make an appointment because your doctor can guide you through a number of options to treat vaginal dryness and vaginal pain.

  2. The Onset of Menopause Can Bring Other Health Problems

    Menopause brings about more than just hot flashes. Many women may not know that during and after menopause, women are more susceptible to:
    • Osteoporosis
    • Heart Disease
    • Cancer
    Estrogen plays an important role in bone health, therefore during and after menopause women are very susceptible to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can lead to fractures, pain, curvature of the spine and loss of height. A bad fracture can play a large role in an elderly person losing their independence. It is very important to talk to your doctor about how to prevent osteoporosis, especially if:
    • You have a family history of Osteoporosis
    • You are currently experiencing menopause or are post-menopausal
    • Have had a broken bone as an adult
    • Are a heavy smoker or drinker
    Heart Disease
    Although conventional wisdom states that mostly men die of heart disease, this is not the case. After reaching menopause, heart disease kills 11 times more women every year than breast cancer. The problems associated with heart disease, such as high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries can also lead to problems such as stroke or diabetes.

    If you are approaching or experiencing menopause, and especially if heart disease runs in your family, talk to your doctor about how to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. She can help you regulate your diet and develop an exercise program, and can monitor your heart health for any potential problems.

    Although menopause itself does not cause cancer, older age is a huge risk factor for cancer in women. Women who experience menopause over the age of 55 are at much greater risk for ovarian, breast, and uterine cancers, as studies have linked these cancers with lengthy exposure to estrogen and more than average ovulations. Hormone therapy, which is often used to treat menopause symptoms, can also increase the risks of certain cancers, especially breast cancer.

    If you have a family history of any of these types of cancers, or start experiencing any of the symptoms during or after menopause, it is imperative to speak to your doctor. Detecting cancer early can be the difference between life and death.

  3. ‘Small symptoms’ isn’t the same as ‘no symptoms’

    Swelling or pain in the abdomen, nausea, lower abdomen or leg pain: these are all symptoms that are generally benign, being associated non-life threatening problems like constipation or menstruation. Sadly, these are also the symptoms of ovarian cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. If detected early the cancer is treatable, but because the symptoms are so common, it is often detected too late. Over half of women diagnosed with this cancer are over 60 and postmenopausal. So if you are 60 or over and are experiencing the symptoms above chronically, do not be embarrassed to go to the doctor, it could save your life.

  4. You Deserve to Know Your Options

    Menopause can cause:
    • Hot flashes
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Urinary problems
    • Mood swings
    • Loss of sex drive
    Yes, it’s not fun. But you do not need to let them rule your life. If the symptoms of menopause are making your personal or professional life difficult, your doctor can and should help. Set aside any embarrassment and make sure to be open and honest with your doctor.

    If your doctor doesn’t seem to know or listen to you, find another. The North America Menopause Society has a doctor finding tool, to help you find a menopause practitioner.

    From vaginal moisturizers like Replens, to lubricants like Replens Silky Smooth, to hormone replacement therapy, to holistic and natural treatments, a doctor can help you find relief. Preventing hot flashes may not seem as imperative as cancer or heart screenings, but having an open discourse with your doctor will help her have better insight into your health, and will help you live more of the life you want to live.

  5. Feel Empowered - Be a Driver in Your Own Health Care

    No one knows your body better than you do. Without your input and honesty, your doctor cannot be fully effective in treating you. Being proactive about your health and seeing your doctor regularly allows you to be fully involved in your own long term care. Checking in with yourself and addressing any concerns with your doctor gives you an active role, and also a much better chance of catching any problems early on.

    It may be easier, or seem safer, to brush symptoms aside. But being an active participant in your own health will give you more insight, and the satisfaction that your health is in your own hands.

    Have you ever waited too long to go to the doctor? Or gone to the doctor just in time? Share your stories with us!

Vibrant Voice Ambassador at Replens
The Vibrant Voice Ambassador’s mission is to collect interesting stories and useful articles that are relevant for mature women.  Our goal is to help you maintain an active lifestyle - to Fifty and Beyond!
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