Though our bodies are changing from the day we are conceived, some changes are just more intense than others. Menopause is a profound physical change that takes place in a woman’s body over a significant period of time, and it can have a huge impact on the way a woman lives her life and views herself.  The stress, worry, and even depression a woman can experience because of menopause can be made worse when she doesn’t know if what is happening to her is normal.

At Sarasota Cosmetic Gynecology, we offer the Mona Lisa Treatment, an effective solution to pain and discomfort that women run into during menopause. In our last blog, we discussed a few of the questions women ask about menopause, including hair growth, voice changes, and birth control. We want you to feel as confident as possible, no matter where you are in relation to menopause, and that is why we have a few more common questions to clear up. Read on – we hope our answers give you some peace of mind!

Question: I’m starting menopause, and I’m scared my voice will change. Will it?

As with most medical answers, we can’t give a 100-percent guarantee of anything. However, we can tell you that a majority of women don’t experience any voice change during menopause. If you find your voice does change, talk to your gynecologist.

Question: I am really struggling with my menopause symptoms. Is hormone replacement therapy safe?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is like any other medicinal treatment in that it has risks and benefits. Studies have shown that long-term estrogen-progesterone therapy can cause an increased risk of blood clots, heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. Estrogen by itself doesn’t increase the risk for heart disease or breast cancer, but it can increase your risk of stroke and blood clots.

While HRT comes with some risks, studies have shown that it can lower your risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia. This is why it’s important to sit down with your gynecologist and fully discuss HRT so that you feel confident moving forward.

Question: My hot flashes are driving me absolutely crazy, and hormone replacement therapy doesn’t work. What are my options?

You have lots of options! They include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs that, while usually used to treat other conditions, can absolutely help you with your hot flashes. However, before we go any further, we need to recommend that you talk to your gynecologist. He or she will know your unique needs and will better be able to suggest solutions tailored to you. The following options are general solutions.  If you’re looking for an over-the-counter option, you can invest in vitamins, soy protein, and ibuprofen products. If you’re thinking that a prescription is needed to address your hot flashes,

  • If you’re looking for an over-the-counter option, you can invest in vitamins, soy protein, and ibuprofen products.
  • If you’re thinking that a prescription is needed to address your hot flashes, your gynecologist may suggest the following:
    • Clonidine (blood pressure medication)
    • Prozac, Paxil, Effexor (low-dose depression drugs)
    • Besdelle (paroxetine formula made specifically for hot flashes)
    • Gabapentin (anti-seizure drug)
    • Duavee (conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula made to treat hot flashes)

Again, you’ll want to talk with your gynecologist to ensure you’re investing in effective solutions. There’s nothing more frustrating than hopping from one hopeful solution to the next as your bank account takes the hits. The above solutions are general suggestions only.

Question: I am interested in alternative treatments for my menopause. What are my options?

Finding relief from your menopause symptoms that give you peace of mind is important. Alternative treatments available to you need to contain compounds that act like estrogens. Soy is one of these compounds. Black cohosh has shown some potential for reducing hot flashes. As with many alternative treatments, more study is needed, but, as we’ve said, having a good talk with your gynecologist can help send you in the direction you need.

At Sarasota Cosmetic Gyncology, we are passionate about being allies to women who need help being comfortable in their bodies. We provide the Mona Lisa Touch, a revolutionary laser therapy that revitalizes the tissues of the vagina without being invasive or painful. Contact us in Sarasota to learn more about our revolutionary treatment!