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Perimenopause Specialist

Carolyn Kaplan, MD -  - Reproductive Endocrinologist

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group

Carolyn Kaplan, MD

Reproductive Endocrinologist & Gynecologist located in Atlanta, GA

Perimenopause is the beginning of the process that leads to menopause, when women can no longer bear children. It’s an experience almost every woman has to go through and can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms.Carolyn Kaplan, MD, at Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group in Atlanta, is a specialist in reproductive endocrinology who can provide you with the most effective forms of treatment during perimenopause and beyond. Call the clinic today to make an appointment, or book using the online tool.

Perimenopause

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the stage of a woman’s life where she starts to transition into menopause, signaling the end of her fertile years. The process can take several years, usually commencing around the age of 50, although it can start earlier in some women. Menopause is confirmed when you’ve not menstruated for 12 months.

What are the symptoms of perimenopause?

Perimenopause begins when the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones by your ovaries starts to slow down. The reduction of hormones and imbalances during this process can cause a range of symptoms including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Problems sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Thinning hair and skin
  • Loss of libido
  • Painful intercourse

There are also unseen changes taking place, such as loss of bone density, and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases.

What treatments are available for perimenopause?

The primary treatment option for addressing the symptoms of perimenopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT corrects the hormone loss caused by perimenopause, helping to relieve the typical symptoms women experience, and contributing towards preventing osteoporosis and degeneration of bladder and vaginal tissues. However, HRT is not without its risks.

Women with any history of deep vein thrombosis are advised not to take HRT because of the increased risk of blood clots developing. Also, there are concerns about the possibility of a link between HRT and breast and uterine cancer.

Bioidentical HRT is gaining in popularity as an alternative to synthetic HRT, but there’s insufficient evidence to prove it’s safer or any more effective. Dr. Kaplan can talk through these issues with you and help you weigh up the benefits so that together you can decide whether HRT is suitable for you.

What alternatives are there to HRT for perimenopause?

You can take action to help manage the symptoms of menopause by leading a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat a varied, well-balanced diet
  • Take regular exercise
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Avoid overconsumption of alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight if you’re carrying extra pounds
  • Get plenty of sleep

Some women find food supplements and herbal remedies help relieve their symptoms, but you should talk to Dr. Kaplan if you’re planning to try any of these. You can also use lubricants to mitigate vaginal dryness and to help make intercourse more comfortable

Many of the symptoms of perimenopause are also typical of thyroid problems, so it’s important to test your thyroid function so that you can get the right treatment. Thyroid problems are more common in older women, and if you don’t have your thyroid tested because you believe your symptoms are due to perimenopause, you could be missing out on effective treatments that would make you feel very much better.

Whatever stage of perimenopause or menopause you’re experiencing, let Dr. Kaplan help you manage your symptoms and ease you through the transition. Call Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group today, or book an appointment online.