New Beginnings Healthcare for Women

Menopause and Perimenopause

As normal and natural as menopause and perimenopause may be, I still find there is much confusion surrounding these two terms. I'd like to begin by sharing some simple definitions of these terms.


Menopause simply means "cessation of menses". A woman is considered to be "menopausal" when she has not had a menstrual period for a year. Menopause can also occur as a result of medical or surgical treatment, for example, hysterectomy (about 25% of women experience menopause is this way).

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Perimenopause, or Pre-menopause describes the transitional period of hormonal fluccuations and changes that lead up to menopause. For most women this transitional period of time can range from 5-15 years. During this time, a woman's sex hormones, estrogen (there are actually 3 estrogens, not one as often thought) and progesterone and in some cases , testosterone (the primary male hormone which also occurs in women) are in a state of flux.

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Common Symptoms

  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Food Cravings
  • Decrease in Libido
  • "Brain Fog"
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Headaches
  • Weight Gain
  • Skin Change
  • Memory Loss

Note: Whenever there is a shift in a woman's hormones leading to an imbalance, there may be some uncomfortable symptoms ranging in severity from mild to severe. Every woman experiences her own symptom or set of symptoms uniquely. One woman may have mild hot flashes, another may experience severe night sweats interfering with her sleep causing fatigue, depression and impaired social functioning.

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Complicated Neuroendocrine Systems

Women have complicated neuroendocrine systems. This means if something is out of balance in one system, there is often a "trickle-down" effect in another system. For example, an excess of estrogen can increase certain carrier proteins in the blood that affect thyroid functioning. Another example is adrenal gland dysfunction can affect the production and balance of certain sex hormones, especially progesterone.

Also, our hormones affect our neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). For example, progesterone binds to the GABA receptors in our brain -producing a sense of calm. Without it, anxiety can occur. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone all play an important role in our general well-being and brain functioning. Our neuroendocrine systems are intricately interwoven and interdependent.

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What Can Be Done?

OK, so you ask, what can be done if you're experiencing symptoms or just want to know where you stand hormonally? The good news, is there is much you can do! If you are committed to improving the quality of your life, with just a little effort you can achieve optimal hormonal balance and health!

Here we will begin by listening to your story, including your health history and exam.In this way an initial assessment of your hormonal state can be made. In many cases a hormone laboratory assessment is made including the utilization of salivary assay technology. The tests are chosen depending on your individual symptoms. The results provide us with an excellent picture of your individual physiology so that a plan can be tailored to your specific needs.

A treatment plan is formulated with your preferences in mind. In most cases balance can be achieved naturally and without drugs! If hormones are needed, these are carefully chosen and your response and hormone levels are carefully monitored.

YOUR physiology to plan YOUR care!

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1017 Washington Blvd, Suite B
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone: (570)-329-2273
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