To determine whether a patient has reached menopause, the doctor will take a history of symptoms and any changes in menstruation over the past 12 months. The absence of a period during that entire time will help confirm the diagnosis.
There is no single menopause test; however, some doctors will use a blood test to measure the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) the patient is producing. In those who have reached menopause, this hormone is elevated, but other factors can also cause the level of FSH to rise and fall.
Going through menopause is a normal part of life, and many people either do not experience menopause-related symptoms or consider their symptoms too mild to require treatment. However, treatment for menopause is appropriate for symptoms that interfere with daily life.
- Hormone replacement therapy for the relief of hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Both systemic and local hormones may be used. To ensure patient safety, guidelines for hormone therapy for menopause include prescribing these medications in lower doses and restrictions on the length of time that they are used.
- Medications such as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) for the relief of hot flashes, vaginal symptoms, and osteoporosis prevention. Some patients may also benefit from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for relief from hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and mood swings.
- Vaginal estrogen in the form of a cream, a ring, or a tablet to treat vaginal dryness and prevent urinary tract infections
- Holistic and alternative treatments to address a range of symptoms
Lifestyle considerations for menopause
Following guidelines for maintaining overall good health can help improve menopause-related symptoms. These measures include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Practicing stress management
- Maintaining good sleep habits, and
- Getting regular exercise
- Minimizing or eliminating alcohol
- No smoking/vaping
Get Menopause Relief from NewYork-Presbyterian
At NewYork-Presbyterian, our experienced gynecologists have a thorough understanding of the physical and emotional impact that menopause can have. We view menopause as a time to evaluate one’s health, identify risks, and initiate strategies to prevent the chronic diseases that menopause and the aging process may bring. Early planning and lifestyle changes can help lessen the symptoms of menopause and ensure that your body is functioning at optimum levels so you can enjoy this time of life.
Care is available through our convenient locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, as well as in Westchester. Find a NewYork-Presbyterian doctor with expertise in the treatment of menopausal symptoms and conditions or contact us to make an appointment.