Every woman who gets menopause is going through it for the first time, and every woman’s experience is different. It’s easy to experience symptoms of menopause and wonder if they are normal.  After all, your experience might not be like your friends’, and any physical change can be unnerving and stressful. In today’s blog, we’re going to take some time to answer some of the most common questions women ask about menopause. We hope this blog reassures you that you’re experiencing normal menopause, and all you need to think about is whether or not the Mona Lisa Touch treatment might make life better for you.

Question: My hot flashes are more intense/less intense than my friends’. Is this okay?

While we wish we could give you some sort of baseline for the behavior of hot flashes, the truth is, hot flashes are as unique as the women experiencing them. Hot flashes are common in perimenopause (the stage right before menopause), but some women never experience them. During menopause, some women’s hot flashes wake them from a deep sleep and leave them drenched in sweat; others’ are a light blush. Hot flashes can last from 30 seconds to five minutes, and they can keep occurring for decades or just a few years. That being said, if you are truly concerned about your hot flashes, talk to your gynecologist. Peace of mind is worth its weight in gold when you’re going through menopause.

Question: I’ve developed facial hair as a result of menopause. What can I do?

Hair growth can feel like adding insult to injury. Aren’t the hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and trouble thinking enough? Why the beard, too? Unfortunately, hair growth, especially on the face, is a side effect of the changing hormone levels in a woman’s menopausal body. This can be taken as good news: you aren’t alone in your struggle and you aren’t turning into a werewolf. That being said, if extra facial hair is really getting you down, we suggest you ask your doctor about solutions. There are many! You can wax or bleach the hairs, dissolve them with depilatories, and zap them with electrolysis and laser hair removal. Just find the solution that’s right for you, and you’re on your way!

Question: I’ve been told to take low-dose birth controls because I’m perimenopausal. Why?

Perimenopause begins a few years before your final period, and it’s the beginning of a big shift in your body chemistry. When you’re perimenopausal, full-strength birth control pills and the 30 to 50 micrograms of estrogen they deliver can be dangerous. Instead, taking 10 to 20 micrograms of estrogen in low-dose pills is the best way to benefit from birth control without making your body struggle.

Question: I’ve begun menopause. Should I worry about birth control?

This is a great question. You don’t want to risk getting pregnant when your body’s trying to shut the system down. For many women, becoming pregnant as they reach a menopausal age is actually dangerous. Here’s the thing: you can’t be sure you’re fully into menopause until you haven’t had your period for a year. A whole year. That means you need to keep taking birth control until you’re absolutely sure menopause has fully arrived. Once you know you’re in menopause, you don’t have to take birth control anymore. However, you’re always susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, so we recommend you use latex condoms.

At Sarasota Cosmetic Gynecology, we are on a mission to be compassionate, knowledgeable allies for women and their bodies. That is why we offer the Mona Lisa Touch treatment, a gentle laser therapy proven to revitalize the vagina and empower women to confidently enjoy their bodies again. Contact our Sarasota cosmetic gynecologist team to learn more today!