Menopause Specialist

Emily Sikking, MD

OBGYN located in Santa Monica, CA

Many women believe that menopause must be uncomfortable, but the truth is that having an open and honest relationship with the right doctor can ease discomfort and limit or eliminate the discomfort leading up to menopause. Emily Sikking, MD/OBGYN, in Santa Monica, CA, provides symptom management and relief during the years leading up this major life change.

Menopause

by Emily Sikking, MD

What is menopause?

While the term menopause is often referred to as the collective symptoms that a woman experiences before she stops menstruating, menopause itself describes the period of time following the final menstrual period. Women experience true menopause one year after their final period, typically around age 51.

Perimenopause is the term used to describe the years leading up to menopause when women experience irregular and infrequent periods along with declining hormone levels and the side effects that accompany them.

Does everyone go through menopause?

Menopause is unavoidable, but the discomfort associated with perimenopause is both avoidable and manageable with the right healthcare team. Perimenopausal discomfort is the direct result of declining and imbalanced hormone levels, which can be easily addressed with hormone replacement therapy or other medications or supplements designed to address symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of perimenopause?

Most women experience hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, and diminished mental clarity. For many women, these symptoms are uncomfortable enough to interfere with daily life and functioning if left untreated.

How long does perimenopause last?

The duration of perimenopause varies greatly from one woman to the next. Some women experience irregular periods and hot flashes for just a year while others endure the transition for as many as 5 or 10 years. Close partnership with a qualified OBGYN is key in limiting the symptoms of perimenopause during this time.

Does hormone replacement come with risks?

Like all medications, there are risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Working with an experienced OBGYN ensures that risk levels are assessed in advance, hormone levels are closely monitored, and the treatment plan is both safe and effective.

What kind of doctor manages perimenopause?

While family practice and primary care doctors can prescribe medications to help, OBGYNs take special interest and specialize in menopause management. This means that they receive up-to-date education on the most current news, research, and treatments every year and spent a significant portion of their training focused on women’s health, menopause, and hormonal balance. Most importantly, it demonstrates their sincere and genuine interest in improving the quality of life for women experiencing menopause and ensures they are ready to listen and help.