Feeling warm from the hot summer weather is to be expected, but for certain women, hot flashes may be a sign that they are perimenopausal, the medical term for approaching menopause. In this article, we will cover common perimenopausal symptoms, demystify facts from fiction, and provide tips for effectively handling this stage of life.
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation of one or more menstrual periods. A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if she has missed at least three periods in a row or if she has not received their first menstrual cycle yet. In other words, amenorrhea is the term for when you do not have periods. Here are six facts about this condition, including possible causes.
American women are having babies later in life. The last few decades have seen the average age at which women have their first child gradually rise, and this trend has been particularly notable since 2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, more women are first becoming mothers in their thirties rather than their twenties. This is the first time this phenomenon has been observed in American history. Furthermore, the only segment of the population to see an overall increase in birth rates since 2016 is women over 40.
A combination of factors is likely driving this shift in average maternal age. Now that women have access to a plethora of educational opportunities and occupations, many choose to firmly establish their careers before having children. Additionally, advances in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility treatments mean that older women are now more likely to have successful pregnancies than in the past. So, is there still such a thing as the biological clock for women today? Read More
You’ve made it through menopause. You’re done with the mood swings and the hot flushes, the fatigue and the cramping. And now, after decades of dealing with regular and irregular uterine bleeding, you’re settling into the latest phase of your body’s development, hopefully with a minimum of fuss. So what does it mean if you start bleeding again? Read More
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. If you’ve gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, it’s official: you’ve reached menopause. For about 40% of women, that’s all there is to it.
For the other 60% of women, the months or years leading up to menopause can bring a host of symptoms. Brought on by hormonal changes, the symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, hot flashes, chest pain, cramping, moodiness, vaginal dryness, abdominal weight gain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a reduced sex drive, urinary incontinence, and abnormal uterine bleeding — that is, irregular or heavy bleeding. Or both. These changes can bring on confusion and anxiety, especially if you’re not expecting them at this point in your life. Read More
If you’re experiencing low libido, fear not … you’re not alone! In a recent U.S. study of more than 2,000 women between the ages of 30 and 70, more than a third had low sexual desire. It’s one of the most common concerns we hear from our patients. And it’s no wonder: As women navigate their middle years, they often find themselves deep into a long-term relationship, a career, raising teens, and taking care of aging relatives.
All of these situations can cause stress, which can have a negative effect on your sex life. And that’s just for starters. Read More
It is my pleasure to announce that Laury Berkwitt, a women’s health nurse practitioner, has recently joined my practice. Laury Berkwitt, WHNP
Laury joins us after working in New York for the last 10 years where she managed the gynecological care for women of all ages. Laury has extensive experience in providing routine well woman exams as well as managing and treating common gynecological complaints such as abnormal bleeding and vaginitis. Laury graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from The University of Vermont in 1999 and practiced as registered nurse in New York City for three years. She received her Master of Science degree in nursing from Columbia University in 2003. She will spend ample time with her patients helping them to find the best contraceptive method for their unique bodies and needs. She also has a special interest in the care of adolescent women. A woman’s first gynecological exam can be a daunting experience, but I am confident that Laury’s calm and nurturing demeanor will help put patients at ease.
Laury is available to see patients and can be reached at 203.855.3535.
Many Thanks, John M. Garofalo, M.D.
Join me on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 pm at Norwalk Hospital for a free educational seminar to discusss Minimally Invasive Surgery for the treatment of Pelvic Prolapse, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis. To register call 1-866-NHB-WELL.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who take dietary or nutritional supplements, or if you’re thinking about taking them, tell your doctor! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discovered more than 140 contaminated dietary supplements, and these are believed to represent just a fraction of the contaminated supplements available today.
PMS and menopause
Hormonal changes caused by PMS and menopause can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including cramps, irritability, mood swings, weight gain and bloating. Some of these symptoms may be managed by taking vitamins, minerals or supplements. But you should be aware that information on these products can be sketchy and incomplete. In addition, quality can be poor, inconsistent, and even dangerous. For example, while tryptophan has been shown to alleviate some PMS symptoms, there have been instances of tryptophan contamination in the past, and the safety of tryptophan’s manufacturing process is still in question. Read More
The truth is that there is no scientific evidence supporting the safety or effectiveness of compounded bioidentical hormones. There is also no scientific support for the use of hormone assays from salivary, urine or blood for the adjustment of hormone replacement dosage.
Patients occasionally ask me about the safety and effectiveness of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (“BHRT”). Read More