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Posts for tag: Menopause

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
February 21, 2020
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Menopause  

The Office on Women’s Health states that, on average, menopause starts at age 52. All throughout menopause, your progesterone and estrogen levels will fluctuate while your ovaries struggle to maintain your normal production of hormones. It’s this fluctuation that causes the most common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep issues, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and bone loss. Here at the office of gynecologist Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo in Brownsville, TX, we can help you figure out the most suitable treatments for managing these menopause symptoms. These treatments can include a combination of the following.

Hot Flashes

Certain plant-derived hormones or phytoestrogens, found commonly in soy-based food items, could partially reverse some hormonal changes resulting from menopause. Other supplements that contain phytoestrogens include wild yam, black cohosh, licorice, dong quai, and red clover. However, it’s immensely vital to note that these supplements could interfere with certain medications so you need to speak with your gynecologist in Brownsville, TX, before taking any of these supplements.

Regular exercise, at least 20 minutes three times weekly, could likewise relieve hot flashes by reducing the amount of LH or luteinizing hormone and FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone. It’s also best to avoid triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages. You should also drink plenty of water and dress in layers that you could easily take off when you become too hot.

Vaginal Dryness

This could greatly affect your sex life. You can try OTC lubricants like KY Jelly before having intercourse or Replens that should be applied daily. You can likewise talk to your doctor about vaginal estrogen rings and vaginal estrogen creams that provide low estrogen doses inside the vagina.

Mood Shifts

Hormonal changes could significantly impact your mood. You could try exercising every day, doing yoga, practicing meditation, avoiding alcohol, restricting your caffeine intake, and eating more veggies and fruits to help boost your mood and overall health. If these strategies fail, you might need therapy and medication.

Urinary Incontinence

Doing Kegel exercises could help make your pelvic floor muscles stronger and improve control over your urethra. You should also limit your consumption of spicy foods and caffeinated or alcoholic drinks to avoid over-stimulating your bladder. Ask your gynecologist about prescription meds for urinary incontinence as well.

A Very Crucial Note on Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT or hormone replacement therapy basically involves medications that contain female hormones. They work by replacing hormones that your body will stop producing following menopause and are extremely effective are relieving practically all menopause symptoms. However, these meds should only be taken under the care of your gynecologist.

Need Relief from Your Menopause Symptoms?

Visit the office of Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo, here at Brownsville, TX, or dial (956) 350-4821 to arrange an appointment with your gynecologist.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
June 14, 2019
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Menopause  

Menopause is a natural event that will occur in all women at some point as they age. Menopause occurs when menstruation stops and fertility ends. Once a woman has missed her period for one year she is considered menopausal. While the age at which a woman reaches menopause varies, it’s common for this transitional period to occur between the ages of 45 and 55.

For some women, menopause causes little to no symptoms; however, other women may experience:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Decreased libido

Some of these symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats will go away after menopause. To reduce the frequency and severity of their symptoms, it’s important that menopausal women maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When should I see my gynecologist?

No matter your age, you should visit your gynecologist for routine checkups ever year. During these visits it’s important that you ask any questions or address any concerns you might have regarding your health. Your OBGYN is able to address everything from birth control options and fertility treatments to hormone replacement therapy.

The type of symptoms you are experiencing as well as their severity will determine whether it’s worth visiting your gynecologist or your general practitioner to rule out other conditions that could be responsible for these symptoms. As we mentioned earlier, some women go through menopause and don’t experience any issues; however, women who are struggling to get their symptoms under control should talk to their gynecologist.

If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause but you’re under 40 years old you should also schedule a doctor’s appointment to determine what’s causing your symptoms. Hormonal issues and imbalances could be to blame and they should be treated as soon as possible.

What can be done to ease symptoms of menopause?

Once a woman reaches perimenopause (the stage right before menopause) she may start to notice a heavier or irregular menstrual cycle. Sometimes your gynecologist may prescribe birth control pills at this time to treat these issues. Birth control may also alleviate vaginal dryness and hot flashes.

Hormone therapy is the standard treatment when it comes to managing menopause symptoms. For example, estrogen therapy has been know to treat hot flashes and vaginal dryness and can be administered as a cream, patch, or pill.

During menopause your gynecologist may also recommend getting a blood test to check your hormone levels. Hormone therapy isn’t right for every woman. Women who have a high cholesterol, gallbladder, or liver disease, a history of blood clots or breast cancer shouldn’t undergo hormone therapy. In this case, non-hormonal treatment options such as prescription medications like gabapentin may be able to treat mood swings, night sweats and other common symptoms of menopause.

If you are experiencing menopause symptoms it’s important to consult your gynecologist. When you come into our office we can help you determine the best methods for getting your symptoms under control. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
July 02, 2018
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Menopause  

Usually around the time that women reach their late 40s or early 50s, they may notice changes occurring in their body. This is because the reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are no longer being produced within the body. This transitional phase is known as menopause and while some women may go through menopause without any symptoms or issues, some women deal with a variety of unpleasant and even severe symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain.

While hot flashes are the most common complaint when it comes to menopause symptoms, there are a variety of issues that women can experience including:

  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal infections
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sexual pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Urinary incontinence or leakage
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration and memory (“mental fog”)

If you are a middle-aged woman who hasn’t had a period in over one year and is dealing with these issues, you could be facing menopause. Of course, it’s important that you have an OBGYN that you can turn to if symptoms become too challenging to handle on your own. While a gynecologist can certainly recommend a variety of lifestyle modifications and simple ways to alleviate symptoms, sometimes more aggressive treatment is necessary.

Certain lifestyle modifications may include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep each night or avoiding alcohol to help with depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Your gynecologist can prescribe a lubricant to help with vaginal dryness and discomfort. Physical therapy or certain medical treatments may be prescribed to improve the function of the pelvic floor to reduce urinary leakage and incontinence.

Many menopausal women dealing with menopausal symptoms can experience relief through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Since the body is no longer producing estrogen and progesterone, HRT will serve to restore those hormones back into the body to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes. Furthermore, HRT has been shown to reduce bone loss caused by osteoporosis, which is common in women post-menopause. Plus, HRT is also known to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness and pain.

There are a few different ways in which HRT can be administered. Estrogen can come in the form of a gel, cream, spray, patch, or pill. Of course, systemic estrogen has been proven to be the most effective way to target symptoms of menopause.

Women dealing with severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms, women who are prone to osteoporosis or fractures, and women who experience menopause before the age of 40 may want to consider getting hormone replacement therapy.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
May 15, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: OBGYN   Menopause  

Getting older means overcoming many different obstacles as your life and your body change. But you must deal with one that is uniquely female: menopause and the symptoms that come with it. You know the symptoms commonly associated with menopause—hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness—but did you know that they are treatable and that menopause doesn’t have to be insurmountable?

Hormone Therapy

If you have moderate to severe symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for hot flashes and can also help elevate vaginal dryness and mood issues. It has traditionally been administered with pills like birth control, but also like birth control it can now be taken through patches, creams, gels, and vaginal rings. If you have not had a hysterectomy, you could be prescribed estrogen and progesterone, called combination HRT. If you have had a hysterectomy, estrogen alone would be prescribed.

Not all women are candidates for HRT. Those who have breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, heart or liver disease, or have had a stroke would be better candidates for the following options.

Non-hormonal Therapy

Vaginal estrogen is a lower dose of estrogen that comes as a cream, tablet, or ring and is placed in the vagina to treat vaginal dryness if you don’t have hot flashes. Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are non-prescription options to treat dryness as well. Lubricants can help decrease friction and ease intercourse, but be sure to only use water-soluble products designed for the vagina to avoid irritating tender tissue. Moisturizers can improve or maintain vaginal moisture if you have mild vaginal atrophy and can also keep your pH level low, ensuring a healthy vaginal environment. They can also be used regularly with longer-lasting effects than lubricants.

Prescription antidepressant medications are often used to treat mood problems, like depression, with relatively few side effects. They have also been used to treat hot flashes. However, if you are having mood issues, be sure to talk with your doctor to identify the cause and decide on the best treatment.

Lifestyle Changes

You’d be surprised how far simple lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising, can go in minimizing menopause symptoms. Wearing light-weight pajamas, using layered bedding that can easily be removed, and using a fan in your bedroom can help with night sweats while keeping a regular sleep schedule and nighttime routine can make falling asleep and staying asleep easier.

The onset of menopause is a big change, and dealing with its symptoms can be daunting. But you don’t have to take on this new phase in your life alone. No matter if you are suffering severe symptoms or you just have some questions of what to expect as you get older, our office is here to help. Call to schedule your appointment today.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
January 15, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care

Zika virus has certainly gotten a lot of attention in the news lately. If you’ve been traveling recently then no doubt you’ve also seen the warning signs in the securityZika Virus lines. Despite the headlines in newspaper, websites and the news, perhaps you still aren’t entirely sure what Zika virus is and what it could mean for your pregnancy.

The Zika virus is contracted by a mosquito bite, but it can also be sexually transmitted or transmitted from a mother to her unborn baby. This condition can cause symptoms such as a rash, pink eye, muscle aches, low-grade fever, fatigue, and headaches. The symptoms can last a couple days or up to one week. While the symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting, this virus can be dangerous for pregnant women. If a woman contracts the Zika virus during pregnancy it can lead to brain deformities such as microcephaly, neurological disorders (e.g. seizures), vision and hearing impairments, and developmental problems in the unborn child.

Of course, your risk of contracting the Zika virus in the US is very low; however, if you are planning to travel internationally and you are pregnant, you will want to check to make sure that the Zika virus cannot be contracted in these regions in which you are visiting.

The best way to protect yourself from Zika virus is to not travel to regions in which you can contract this infection or to avoid sex with anyone who has traveled to these regions (or, at the very least, use a condom everytime you have sex). Of course, if you must travel to these areas while pregnant, there are some precautions that you can take to prevent mosquito bites including,

  • Wearing long sleeves and pants
  • Applying and reapplying insect repellant often
  • Making sure that there are screens on door or windows in the place you are staying

If you start to come down with symptoms of Zika virus then you will want to see a doctor right away. Women who are pregnant who have to travel to these regions should talk to their doctor about regular testing.

The Zika virus can remain within the body for up to six months. Of course, once the Zika virus has gone away, this should not affect any future pregnancies you might have. If you are frequently traveling and you are pregnant, chances are good that you may have questions about Zika virus and protecting both yourself and your unborn child. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a pediatrician if you have any concerns.