The transition into menopause and beyond can be a challenging time physically and emotionally. At Open Arms OB/GYN in Toronto, we are experts in the assessment and management of all menopausal and perimenopausal concerns, including medical, hormonal and procedural therapy.
Menopause is, technically, the point at which you have not had a period for one full year. Perimenopause includes the years leading up to menopause during which hormone levels fluctuate widely and unpredictably.
In the years leading up to menopause hormonal fluctuations can lead to periods becoming irregular and with variable flow, heavier or lighter. Periods then tend to space out until they gradually stop altogether.
Other symptoms that are common as estrogen levels decrease are hot flashes & night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood fluctuations, disturbed sleep patterns, bladder control issues, decreased libido, and pain with sexual activity. Some women also experience descent of the pelvic organs, known as pelvic organ prolapse.
Treatments for the above symptoms range from lifestyle modifications, to medical/hormonal therapy, to procedural therapy. Having a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, as well as regular exercise are very important. Medications, including non-hormonal therapy and hormone replacement therapy, can alleviate the symptoms of menopause and are safe for many women. Vaginal irritation, dryness, and sexual pain can also be effectively treated using the MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser therapy.
HRT is an effective treatment for relief of hot flashes, night sweats, sleeping difficulties, insomnia and other symptoms. Over the years, there has been controversy over the safety of HRT and many women have avoided this therapy due to these concerns. HRT is not for everyone, but we will do a complete assessment to determine if it is right and safe for you.
The MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser is available at Open Arms OB/GYN. This therapy utilizes a carbon dioxide laser probe inside and outside the vagina to foster collagen production, as well as increased elasticity, blood flow, and moisture production. This therapy has been proven to be very effective in treating symptoms of vaginal dryness, irritation, burning, and pain with sexual activity. This is a simple, in-office, non-surgical procedure that typically takes about 5-10 minutes. We recommend three treatments, spaced at 6 weeks apart, for relief of symptoms. Some people require a single yearly treatment for maintenance. Click here to book your MonaLisa Touch appointment online.
As women age, the connective tissue supporting the pelvic organs becomes weaker and more lax. This occurs due to a combination of genetics, lack of estrogen, and previous delivery of babies. Because the vagina is thinner and weaker, the bladder and rectum can bulge inward and down creating a cystocele and rectocele. The uterus and cervix can also prolapse.
Symptoms of prolapse typically include an uncomfortable “bulge” or pressure sensation in the vagina, bladder issues, and tissue protruding beyond the vaginal entrance. Treatments for prolapse include pelvic floor strengthening, pessary, and surgery.