Aging

Geriatric Gynecology

Most women know the importance of regular gynecologic care during their menstruating years. After menopause, however, may be the time when you find your OBGYN to be the most valuable. Many later-life conditions related to gynecology can be prevented, treated, or resolved with the help of a caring specialist. Our approach to Geriatric Gynecology at Woodward & Associates is to not only to detect problems early and keep you well, but also to improve the quality of your everyday life.

The Absence of Estrogen

Much of the discomfort experienced by a woman throughout her lifetime can be linked to female hormones. It might be surprising, but this is still true even long after menopause. As part of the menopause transition, the ovaries stop releasing the hormone estrogen, which plays a significant role in the female reproductive system. Reduced hormone levels can lead to symptoms similar to PMS, plus hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, and an array of other conditions.

Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is one of the more significant risks faced by women during and after menopause. Since your OBGYN regularly monitors your bone density, we are likely to be the first doctor to identify any bone loss that occurs. With our vast experience in geriatric gynecology, we are well equipped to help you take proactive steps to prevent or hold off loss the of bone density. If you have already developed Osteoporosis, we can help you decide what type of lifestyle changes, exercise, prescription medication, or hormone treatment will work best for you.

Kind Hearts & Open Minds

While our culture has become more open about the topic of menopause, what happens as women continue to age is rarely discussed. Many women have no idea what to expect, and this prevents them from taking steps that could reduce risk and discomfort later in life. At Woodward & Associates, we respect your privacy. We understand that these symptoms are difficult to accept, experience, and discuss. By encouraging an open dialogue, we can help you be better prepared, understand the ongoing changes, and improve your experience. We’re devoted to providing the best gynecologic care at every point in your life.

Osteoporosis

There’s a lot of information out there about osteoporosis, and sifting through it to find the messages that are important to you can be difficult. A gynecology and obstetrics practice might seem like an odd place to discuss osteoporosis, but bone loss is one of the areas in which your OBGYN plays a key role in your general healthcare. For many women, a gynecologist is the first person to detect signs of osteoporosis. Our doctors at Woodward & Associates provide expert detection, treatment, and prevention to manage Osteoporosis.

It’s Better to Know.

Osteoporosis is sometimes called a silent disease because many women don’t notice a problem until they break a bone. Our goal is to assess risk early and regularly so that proactive treatment can begin in the earliest stages of bone loss.  We order painless bone density screenings that provide extremely accurate measurement of your risk level and the condition of your bones. Though complete prevention is unlikely, early detection enables us to use treatments that slow the loss of bone density.

Options for treating Osteoporosis

We take a holistic view of Osteoporosis treatment, which means that we consider the entire array of treatment and prevention options. This gives you the best chance of retaining your bone density, preventing fractures, and slowing the progression of the disease.

Treatment methods fall into a few categories:

  • Exercise
  • Medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Hormone Management

While bone loss can begin at any age, women over 50 are at greatest risk for developing the disease. Once osteoporosis has developed, it is rarely reversible. We can help you assess your risk, prevent fractures, and maintain an active lifestyle.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy is a method of treatment where female hormones are added to the body to replace the ones that are lost during menopause. This treatment can be used to reduce the BIG-5 symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, poor sleep, and vaginal dryness.

To find out if Hormone Replacement Therapy would be a good option for you, it’s very important that you work closely with your OBGYN. Whether the treatment would cause valuable benefits or potential harm depends on specific risk factors. Be sure to thoroughly explore your own risk factors with a doctor you trust before starting or seeking out Hormone Therapy.

Types of Hormone Therapy

There are two major delivery methods for Hormone Replacement Therapy. The right one for you will depend on your symptoms, risk factors, and unique circumstances.

Systemic Hormone Therapy

This is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms. The estrogen is taken as a pill, patch, or topical solution and absorbed throughout the body. It can reduce hot flashes, night sweats, losing sleep, vaginal symptoms, and bone thinning.

Low-Dose Vaginal Therapy

Low-Dose Vaginal Estrogen treatment allows less estrogen into your system, so it is less effective for general symptoms of menopause. It is applied as a cream, ring, or tablet to treat vaginal symptoms like dryness and burning.

Hormone Therapy at Woodward & Associates

While Hormone Replacement Therapy must be carefully considered, it provides a great deal of relief when used for the right patients. Our role is to help you evaluate your unique personal experience of menopause, to identify the lowest-risk treatment, and to make sure your treatment goes smoothly. Regardless of whether Hormone Therapy is right for you, Woodward & Associates is the best place to turn if you’re struggling with the process of menopause and the discomfort it causes. We’ll provide honest answers, genuine options, and respect for your privacy.

Menopause

What is menopause?

Menopause is a moment in life where you can say, “I have not had a period for one year.” The time of most concern for you and your doctor will likely be the perimenopausal time. This stage of life before and after menopause occurs can be lengthy. While the average age for menopause is 53, many women will not experience it until their late 50’s. Occasionally women can go through menopause in their late 40’s.

Menopause occurs because the ovaries stop releasing eggs and estrogen, and significant hormonal changes can take place. These changes may have a wide variety of symptoms ranging in severity. Although this life change is characterized by “The Big Five”– hot flash, night sweats, mood swings, loss of sleep, and vaginal dryness — other related symptoms may be associated.

Keep your doctor up to date.

Maintaining a regular annual appointment schedule with your OBGYN is a great way to prepare yourself for menopause. Some of the most significant symptoms, like loss of bone density and mood swings, can be prevented with proactive treatment. Even when it’s too late for prevention, symptoms can be managed or delayed with proper medical attention. Since symptoms can occur over several years, management is very important to maintaining quality of life.

Symptoms of Menopause

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flashes & night sweats
  • Dizziness or trouble focusing
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort
  • Mood swings, depression & anxiety
  • Fatigue or insomnia
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain & bloating
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Breast pain & swelling
  • Digestive problems
  • Skin & complexion problems
  • Osteoporosis

Menopause Care at our Practice

The doctors at Woodward & Associates will help you anticipate the emotional roller coaster than can come with menopause. We can provide resources and information so that you understand your unique symptoms and all the potential treatment options that could work for you. We can help you enjoy this stage of your life rather than feeling uncomfortable with it. It’s a change that requires adjustment, but ultimately is natural and can be liberating.