By Stevel Gamel | Photos by The Teal Album
As the medical director of women’s services on the staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lake Pointe, Theresa Conyac empathizes with women navigating the challenges of menopause. At certain times, it’s hot flashes, chills, fatigue, and sleepless nights. The next, it’s irritable mood, weight gain, irregular cycles, and vaginal symptoms. While these symptoms are colloquially said to be “part of being a woman,” many have a misconception that they’re stuck dealing with it until their menopausal transition is over, which could last five to 10 years or longer.
“Women don’t have to deal with these symptoms or live with them,” Dr. Conyac said. “You have options.”
Menopause is the transition period in a woman’s life when her ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, and menstruation becomes less frequent — eventually stopping altogether. It is a natural event that typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. For some women, it can be so uneventful that the first they hear about it is when their period stops. For others, this drop in hormone levels can lead to many of the disruptive physical and emotional changes. Menopause can also be associated with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, bone loss, cognitive mental changes, pelvic floor relaxation, and depression.
All women experience menopause differently. If you have symptoms of menopause, reach out to the women’s health experts at Baylor Scott & White for treatment or to simply answer your questions.
Address Each Stage of Menopause With Grace
Your care team will develop perimenopause and menopause treatment plans based on age, medical history, stage of menopause, and personal preferences. Dr. Conyac said the good news is that her department at Baylor Scott & White — Lake Pointe covers the gamut when it comes to state-of-the-art and compassionate gynecological and obstetric care, from outpatient solutions to gynecologic surgeries such as hysterectomy, Level III maternity services, and Level III NICU services.
For many women, perimenopausal and menopausal treatment can be managed outpatient, and a litany of nonsurgical solutions exist to help decrease symptoms. This can include over-the-counter medications. Therapies such as laser vaginal rejuvenation and pelvic floor therapy are also beneficial in cases of vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and pelvic floor relaxation. Lifestyle changes such as a well-rounded approach that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of a woman’s well-being (healthy diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, sleep hygiene) can limit symptoms and lead to an overall wellness which supports women through this time.
If necessary, one nonsurgical treatment available for severe menopausal hot flashes and night sweats is low-dose hormone replacement therapy. The reality is that hormone levels change as men and women age. So, by regulating your estrogen and progesterone levels, you can find relief for many
“Heavy bleeding, hot flashes, and not really feeling like themselves anymore is what typically brings women in to see us,” Dr. Conyac said. “Assessing these factors is a combination of clinical assessment and monitoring a patient’s symptoms through various
See Your Doctor Regularly
Don’t allow menopause to interrupt your life. Long-lasting relief could be as simple as hormone replacement therapy, non-hormonal medications, or consistent lifestyle changes. For others, the answer could be a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation. The key is to have a conversation with your care provider and receive regular screenings.
Many women don’t realize that during menopause, they can be more at risk for certain cancers like breast, ovary, and uterine. In addition, chronic medical health conditions can escalate after the menopausal time. This is where routine screenings through pap smears, mammograms, and sonograms can lead to early detection and more successful treatment options.
Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of Baylor Scott & White Health or those medical centers.
HERE FOR EVERY STAGE
All women experience menopause differently. If you have symptoms of menopause, reach out to the women’s health experts on staff at Baylor Scott & White – Lake Pointe. We can help you determine the best treatment for you or just answer your questions. We’re here to help you deal with every stage of menopause:
- Natural menopause
- Early menopause
(ages 40 to 45)
- Premature menopause
(before age 40)
- Menopause caused
- Perimenopause (the transition to menopause)
plans for patients will be determined by their care team based on age, medical history, stage of menopause and
- Endometrial ablation
- Medical Therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Estrogen therapy
- Non-hormonal therapy
- Estrogen alternatives
- Alternative therapies
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lake Pointe
6800 Scenic Drive | Rowlett, Texas 75088
(972) 520-8000 | BSWHealth.com/lakepointe