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Posts for tag: Menopause

By Sharon B. Diamond, MD, FACOG, MSW
December 14, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Menopause  

Midlife brings many important changes to a woman's life, including menopause. This normally occurs on average at age 51 for women in menopausethe U.S. Your gynecologist in Upper East Side, NY Dr. Sharon Diamond, will help you manage your menopausal symptoms, which can include hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings and other symptoms, allowing you to feel your best and to embrace this new and exciting transition.

What is Menopause?
This refers to the time of life after a women’s menses have permanently stopped. Typically, when a woman hasn't gotten a period for 12 months in a row, she is in menopause and may need help managing the various symptoms associated with this change.

According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), due to fluctuating hormone levels, women often experience menopausal symptoms starting in their early 40s. The average age for the last period is around 51 although some women become menopausal years earlier or as late as 58 or 59.

Symptoms of Menopause
At middle age, a woman may expect to have menopausal symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Spotty or extra-heavy periods
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • Vaginal and urinary tract infections
  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

Symptoms vary in intensity and duration. No two women experience menopause in the same way, and that's why Dr. Diamond makes careful menopause management available in her Upper East Side practice.

Treating Menopause

Your physician will carefully tailor your menopause treatment plan according to your specific preferences and health care needs. Dr. Diamond may recommend simply keeping active with regular exercise and a diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed, iron, and calcium. Women also should limit caffeine and spicy foods if they find that these trigger hot flashes, night sweats or other symptoms.

For vaginal dryness and atrophy, Dr. Diamond may prescribe vaginal hormone cream or an innovative procedure using the Mona Lisa Touch laser. Performed in the office, the Mona Lisa Touch laser treatments stimulate the body's natural collagen, thus improving the thickness, elasticity, and moisture of vaginal tissues. A total of three treatments, six weeks apart, usually achieve the desired effect with minimal discomfort and no downtime.

Feel Your Best!

With expert and compassionate menopausal management with Dr. Sharon Diamond and her caring team, you can tackle menopause with comfort and confidence. Please contact our Upper East Side, NY office for an appointment at (212) 876-2200.

 

By Sharon B. Diamond, MD, FACOG, MSW
December 12, 2017
Category: Health
Tags: Menopause  

Every woman will experience menopause. The average age for women in the U.S.  51 years, though it can occur earlier or later and peri-menopausemenopause, the time leading up to the complete cessation of menses is extremely variable in duration and can last from months to years.  Some women seem to go through this transitional period with only minor and fleeting changes while other women deal with very unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and other issues. These can be a bit more challenging to tackle. Our Upper East Side, NY, gynecologist Dr. Sharon Diamond has some answers to help manage your menopause and peri-menopausal symptoms.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Once women reach menopause the amount of estrogen and progesterone the body produces is dramatically reduced, and during peri-menopause the production of these hormones can be very erratic – reaching record highs and lows.  These changes can lead to a variety of symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches and night sweats. For some women a short course of hormone replacement therapy might be appropriate to combat the symptoms and restore or improve quality of life. For these women our Upper East Side, NY, OBGYN will provide you with the hormone replacement best for you, usually bio-identical treatments (hormones identical to those your own body produced during reproductive years). Treatment can come in the form of oral medication, gels, implants or patches which modestly increase estrogen or progesterone levels to successfully reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. 

For some women, for example those with a history of, or at high risk for certain malignancies, hormone therapy would not be appropriate. For those women, or for those who choose not to take hormones, there are also simple measures you can take to reduce symptoms of menopause in your day-to-day life:

Treating Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

If you deal with intense hot flashes it’s a good idea to wear lighter, loose-fitted clothing  of natural fibers, and to dress in layers. Turning down the temperature at night before going to bed or placing a fan next to your bed while you sleep can also help.  Also, document which foods might also be causing your hot flashes. You may find that caffeine, spicy foods, or alcohol are triggers for you.  Avoiding or reducing your intake of these foods and drinks can help reduce the frequency of your hot flashes and night sweats.

Treating Mood Swings

If you suddenly feel like you have a short fuse with those around you or you are finding yourself dealing with depression or anxiety, it is  important that you talk to your doctor about these issues. There are certain non-medicinal approaches you can take to reduce stress and anxiety. Finding an outlet for your anxiety such as taking up yoga, meditation or even being referred to a therapist can help with your anxiety  and negative feelings and help you find a sense of balance.

Sexual Issues

Menopausal women are also more likely to report sexual issues including discomfort or pain at this time. This is usually due to the decrease in estrogen that results in vaginal and vulvar dryness, thinning, and loss of elasticity. If you find that you are suffering from these changes, there are many options to help including vaginal products such as hyaluronic acid gels, or prescription local estrogens such as creams, suppositories, or rings.  The MonaLisa Touch laser treatment is another option as are the use of special lubricants to help improve these uncomfortable symptoms.

Menopause may be a challenging time in a woman’s life but our expert gynecological team here in Upper East Side, NY, can help. We are happy to sit down with you and figure out a treatment plan that truly works.

By Sharon B. Diamond, MD, FACOG, MSW
June 13, 2017
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Menopause  

Menopause is different for every woman. Although it is a natural part of the aging process, hormonal changes in the body may lead to Gynecology and Menopausesymptoms that vary in duration and intensity in each individual. Dr. Sharon Diamond, a gynecologist on the Upper East Side offers comprehensive and individualized menopause management in NYC.


Gynecology and Menopause Management Upper East Side, NYC

Menopause is the stage of a woman's fertility and reproductive years when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation comes to an end. In the years leading up to menopause (known as perimenopause), estrogen and progesterone production declines, and periods may begin to fluctuate. During perimenopause, there is sometimes an imbalance between the production of these two hormones that can cause irregular of heavy bleeding that has to be addressed. The process usually begins sometime in the mid to late 40s, but can begin earlier in some women. The average age for menopause is 51 but can happen earlier or later. A woman is generally considered to officially be in menopause after menstruation has ceased for an entire year.
Some of the most common symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Irregular periods (heavier or lighter periods, longer or shorter in duration, skipping periods)
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Hair loss/thinning
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain and bloating
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido
  • Osteoporosis

Some women do not experience noticeable symptoms. While there is no "cure" for menopausal symptoms, there are medical, lifestyle, and behavioral modification options that can help to relieve the intensity of symptoms, manage discomfort, and improve the quality of life for women going through menopause. The most common management techniques include estrogen and progesterone (bio-identical) hormone replacement, diet and nutrition counseling to help with healthy weight management and strength training and other weight bearing exercise to build muscle and bone strength. Emotional wellbeing is also an important factor in adjusting to life after menopause, and counseling can also help women find peace and a new sense of balance with the changes to their mind and body.


Find an Upper East Side Gynecologist in NYC

For more information on personalized and compassionate menopause management, and other gynecology services on the Upper East Side, contact our office by calling 212-876-2200 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Diamond today.

By Sharon B. Diamond, MD, FACOG, MSW
September 20, 2016
Category: Health

As menopause approaches, hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain may become more common. Fortunately, there are ways to menopause managmentdecrease unpleasant symptoms. Dr. Sharon Diamond, your Upper East Side, NY gynecologist answers a few questions about menopause management.

Why does my friend have fewer symptoms than I do?
Menopausal changes don't affect everyone the same way. Some lucky women experience very few symptoms, while others seem to be hit with everything on the list of possibilities. Some women’s difficulties are of short duration, while others have issues for years.  Although your friend may be able to control hot flashes easily, that may not be the case for you. Keep in mind that you are unique and your menopausal symptoms won’t be exactly like anyone else's.

How can I control hot flashes?
Hot flashes can make your life very difficult. These personal heatwaves can quickly drench you in sweat as your face and chest become unbearably hot. They may interrupt your sleep numerous times a night or embarrass you with facial reddening in the middle of an important meeting. You can manage your hot flashes by:

  • Dressing in Layers: When a hot flash hits, remove the top layer of your clothing to reduce heat buildup. Wearing cotton or loosely woven fabrics can also help.  Unfortunately, silk or cashmere can also worsen flashes.
  • Exercising Regularly: Exercising often not only helps to decrease hot flashes, but also helps you avoid the weight gain that can occur at this stage of your life.
  • Improving Your Diet: Now more than ever, it's important to reduce junk food in your diet. Make sure your diet contains a healthy mixture of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and fibers, and if you are not lactose intolerant, dairy.  Eating a healthy diet can reduce hot flashes, help you avoid packing on extra pounds and keep your heart strong. Since a woman’s metabolic rate tends to slow after menopause, exercising regularly and watching your diet become even more important.
  • Finding a Stress Buster: If stress triggers your menopausal symptoms, meditation, yoga and other activities can help you feel more relaxed. In addition, acupuncture has been found to help some women with resistant symptoms.

What can I do if nothing I do helps?
Sometimes, the changes in your body can be overwhelming, with nothing you do seeming to help. If peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms are affecting the quality of your life, and you have no medical contra-indications, hormone replacement therapy may be appropriate. Your Upper East Side gynecologist can evaluate you and your complaints and concerns. Together you can decide if a regimen of low dose bio-identical hormones is right for you to help with symptom reduction.
Do you need a little help with menopause management? Call Dr. Diamond, your Upper East Side, NY gynecologist, at (212) 876-2200 to schedule an appointment.

By Sharon B. Diamond, MD
February 06, 2015
Category: Health
Tags: Menopause  

Generations of women have called menopause "the change," and for good reason. A woman's body undergoes some dramatic changes during this mid-life time, but that does not mean life has to be miserable. Menopause can be managed, and any woman who is in or approaching this time of life can be confident that she has good choices to manage her symptoms.

Menopause and Its symptoms:

While every woman experiences menopause differently, there are also many commonalities. Perimenopause may occur for a few years or for many years before the complete cessation of ovulation and menstruation that defines menopause. Typically starting in the late forties, perimenopause is characterized by changes in the secretion of the hormones, progesterone and estrogen. Rather than an orderly and cyclic production, hormones may become erratic with large fluctuations, both surges and drops.  As a result, ovulation can be sporadic, and periods can be irregular, light in flow or even heavy. The absence of periods for several months can be misleading and it may be a good idea to have levels tested when this occurs.  Hot flashes, and other symptoms such as mood changes, can also begin at this time.

Menopause itself usually happens in the early fifties, when ovulation stops completely, and a woman has not had a period for a full year. Besides these obvious signs, other symptoms can include:

  • hot flashes and profuse sweating, particularly at night
  • difficulties with sleeping
  • fatigue and memory fogginess
  • mood swings or depression and anxiety
  • decreased libido
  • vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse
  • weight gain, particularly around the mid-section
  • urinary incontinence or other urinary symptoms
  • itchy skin
  • thinning bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)

Severity of menopausal symptoms can vary widely, and every woman at mid-life should discuss her particular issues with her gynecologist to arrive at the best strategy for minimizing mid-life discomforts.

Your options for managing menopause:

The most difficult of menopausal symptoms may be relieved with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but this is not an option for every woman.  Women with a history of breast cancer as well as certain other cancers or who are at high risk for these malignancies cannot take hormones.  Numerous studies suggest that while long-term HRT can increases the risk of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke, small doses, carefully supervised by a physician, can reduce hot flashes, migraines and other troubling issues in appropriate women. The lowest dose of hormones needed to manage symptoms for the shortest period of time they are needed, is a reasonable approach for many.  Bio-identical hormones may have fewer side effects and you can discuss these with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for this treatment. Systemic symptoms of menopause may also be relieved with acupuncture but it is necessary to find a practitioner who has experience in this area.  

Low doses of estrogen in vaginal medications including creams, suppositories and a vaginal ring can help with dryness and urinary and sexual difficulties. Delivered in this way, estrogen has little or no effect on a woman's other body systems because very little if any of the estrogen is absorbed systemically into the body.  It acts almost exclusively on vaginal tissue only. There are other remedies for painful intercourse however and it is especially important to communicate with your doctor for advice about what might work for you.

After menopause, the drop in estrogen can also result in a loss of bone density which may increase the risk of fracture.  Supplemental calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercise can help counter this loss of bone,

Regular aerobic and weight-bearing exercise also may help to improve mood and assists with weight control. Since the metabolic rate tends to slow after menopause, making it easier to gain weight, it is especially important to maintain a diet rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium

Women are living longer now with the potential for decades of active and satisfying life after menopause.

Having a physician with whom you are comfortable communicating will help you to understand your individual issues and empower you to take care of them.