Menopause Specialist

Above Parr Women's Center

Angela Pollard, MD

OB-GYN located in Los Gatos, CA

Menopause is a natural part of life, but it can still cause uncomfortable symptoms. Dr. Pollard of Above Parr Women’s Center offers testing to confirm whether women are entering menopause, as well as treatment for some of the symptoms women may experience during and after this transition. This service is available to patients at the Los Gatos, California office.

Menopause Q & A

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process in which a woman stops having a menstrual cycle. After menopause has occurred, the woman won’t be able to get pregnant anymore.

When does menopause occur?

Most women will experience menopause around the age of 51. However, some women may have menopause earlier or later in life. Doctors consider menopause premature if it occurs before the age of 40. Premature menopause may increase the risk of complications for patients.

What causes menopause?

A woman’s menstrual cycle is controlled by specific reproductive hormones that stimulate ovulation and the menstruation. When the body lowers its production of these hormones, the woman stops having regular menstrual cycles. A woman officially reaches menopause when she has had no menstrual cycle for 12 months.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

In the months leading up to menopause, women often experience irregular periods. Other common symptoms include:

  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

Some of these symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, may continue even after the transition is complete and the patient is no longer having a menstrual cycle.

What treatments are available?

Women may experience disruptive symptoms during and after menopause. In some cases, the symptoms may be severe enough to warrant treatment. Depending on the situation, Dr. Pollard may prescribe hormone therapy and/or antidepressants. Some patients may also need medication to prevent osteoporosis.

What are the dangers of early menopause?

Going through menopause before the age of 40 may raise the risk of certain complications. Without the protective benefits of estrogen, women may be at a higher risk of osteoporosis, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, cataracts, gum disease, and tooth loss. For this reason, Dr. Pollard may recommend hormone therapy to women with premature menopause.

Is it possible to get pregnant after menopause?

Getting pregnant after menopause is unlikely. Without a healthy ovulation, it isn’t possible for a woman to conceive. However, in the months leading up to menopause when a woman is still having irregular periods, pregnancy may be possible. To prevent pregnancy, women should use birth control during this time.