Perimenopause & Menopause

Perimenopause & Menopause

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the transition to menopause. During this time, a woman’s ovaries will gradually make less and less estrogen. Most women experience perimenopause in their 40s, but in some cases, it can begin in the 30s or earlier. The average length of perimenopause is 4 years, but it can last as short as a few months or as long as a decade. Perimenopause is considered to be over when a woman has gone 1 year without having her period.

What are the most common symptoms associated with perimenopause?

Perimenopausal symptoms may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Tenderness in the breasts
  • A lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular periods
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings

What is menopause?

Menopause, a naturally-occurring life transition, occurs when a woman stops ovulating and having a monthly period due to a lack of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. In general, Dr. La Follette considers a woman to be menopausal when she hasn’t had a period for at least 1 year. However, symptoms and changes may begin much earlier.

Though it begins at different times for different women, it commonly starts after the age of 45. In fact, the average age of onset in the United States is 51. Menopause that starts before the age of 40 is considered premature, and Dr. La Follette encourages women with these symptoms to make an appointment for an evaluation.

What are the most common symptoms associated with menopause?

Once a woman reaches menopause, she may experience a number of symptoms, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hair loss from the scalp
  • Increased hair growth on the face
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Night sweats

What are the available treatment options?

Women can improve some of these symptoms through self-care. Dr. La Follette recommends eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. If a woman experiences vaginal dryness, over-the-counter lubricants help.

In some cases, prescription medications can help peri & menopausal women. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, Dr. La Follette prescribes low-dose birth control pills. If you are menopausal, we provide MonaLisa Touch laser treatments. MonaLisa Touch is a non-surgical procedure for vaginal restoration.* Treatments can address vaginal atrophy symptoms, including dryness, itchiness and irritation.* Click here to learn more. Dr. La Follette is here to help women during perimenopause and menopause, call (415) 461-1949 or schedule an appointment online at our office in Greenbrae, California.

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Greenbrae - Marin County OB-GYN and Aesthetics

Focus on Women’s Health

La Follette OB-GYN and Aesthetics offers women’s comprehensive obstetric and gynecological care including high-risk prenatal care, well women care exams with STD testing and birth control choices, as well as minimally invasive surgeries and popular non-invasive lasers such as MonaLisa Touch, SculpSure, and Icon.

Our goal is to provide each woman with the best and most personalized service oriented OB-GYN care possible.

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(415) 461-1949