Francine Ito, MD
OB-GYN located in South Bay, Torrance, CA
Menopause can cause an array of symptoms that can interfere with good health and even daily living. Dr. Francine Ito is an OB-GYN located in Torrance, CA who offers state-of-the-art treatments for menopause symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy, so women in the South Bay area can enjoy optimal health and wellness at every stage of life.
Menopause Q & A
What causes menopause?
Menopause occurs when a woman’s body slows down its production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months. The time leading up to menopause is often referred to as perimenopause, and this is when many menopause-related symptoms occur.
What symptoms can menopause cause?
Although estrogen and progesterone are associated with sexual health and reproduction, they affect many other body processes and systems as well. As their production declines, an array of symptoms can develop, including:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- problems focusing or concentrating
- abnormal periods, including periods that occur on an irregular schedule, periods that are very heavy and spotting between periods
- irritability and moodiness
- vaginal dryness
- painful intercourse
- loss of interest in sex
- thinning hair or facial hair growth
- dry skin
- weight gain, especially in the belly
- tender breasts
- Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary in frequency and intensity from one woman to another.
How is menopause treated?
Although menopause cannot be “cured,” the symptoms of menopause can be treated. Some treatments are designed to address specific symptoms, like lubricants and estrogen creams to treat vaginal dryness or medications for depression or sleep problems. Many women benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT works systemically to treat multiple symptoms and help women lead more comfortable lives.
Is hormone replacement therapy safe?
Yes, today’s hormones may make HRT an effective approach to menopause care for many women. Like any long-term medical treatment, regular office visits are important to ensure treatment remains on track and dosing remains optimized for each woman as her unique needs evolve over time. Like any medication, hormones have risks that need to be balanced with benefits. This balance is different for every patient.
Can I become pregnant during menopause?
Once periods have completely ended, pregnancy cannot occur. However, during the months and years leading up to menopause - the time known as perimenopause - a woman can still become pregnant, although her chances are much slimmer. Birth control should still be used during this time.
*Individual results may vary