GYN Doctors serving patients in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk & Portsmouth

A Gynecology Specialists note: Following is an excellent article by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Since 2004, our GYN doctors have provided women with comprehensive gyn care and hormone therapy for menopause, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and more in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and throughout Hampton Roads. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221.


4 most common questions about menopause

January 2021

Women tend to greet menopause with mixed emotions. They may be nervous about getting older or anxious about what they’re experiencing, physically and emotionally. To be sure, menopause is unlike anything you’ve felt before – and the transition can last for several years.

Gyn doctors in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth hear all sorts of questions about this time of life. Here are the top five questions they get – and their answers.

1. Should I start hormone therapy?

Many patients fall into two categories: (1) eager to start hormone therapy to ease their hot flashes (2) wary of it because of what they’ve read online.

Admittedly, there is a lot of scary information out there about hormone therapy and the risks of heart attack, breast cancer, and more. But the landmark 2002 study that raised some concerns about these risks was limited. The study looked at a unique population of older women. We now know that hormone therapy is a safe option, especially for women going through menopause in their 50s and younger.

However, other methods can be tried first, especially for hot flashes: dressing in layers, carrying a portable fan, and sipping cold drinks. Avoid foods and drinks that can trigger hot flashes, such as alcohol and caffeine. Stop smoking and lose extra weight if you need to. Try meditation, which can make hot flashes less bothersome.

When these conservative measures and lifestyle changes don’t quite cut it, our Gyn doctors propose you consider hormone therapy.

2. How will menopause affect my sex drive?

This is a topic many patients are usually hesitant to bring up – understandably, it’s very personal.

The fluctuation of hormones during menopause can lead to vaginal dryness, which in turn causes pain during sex. Then women may find they don’t initiate sex anymore, for fear of this pain.

Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can provide relief. If those don’t work, talk with your Gyn doctor about topical or oral medications.

Don’t be resigned to abstinence after middle age. With a little help, everything can work as you want it to.

3. I haven’t had a period in years. Do I really need annual check-ups with a Gyn doctor?

Yes, you should still come for your annual visit, no matter your age. You may no longer need birth control or prenatal care, but Gyn doctors in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth offer the full range of women’s health care. From screening for cancer and sexually transmitted infections to discussing concerns about sex and urinary incontinence, your annual check-up can cover all aspects of your sexual and reproductive health.

4. Do I still need Pap tests and mammograms after menopause?

Yes to this one too. The recommendation is to continue with Pap tests until age 65, unless you have a risk factor for cervical cancer, such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Even women who have had a hysterectomy may still need screening.

With mammograms, most women at low risk of breast cancer can stop at 75. In both cases, you and your Gyn doctor should share information, talk about your wishes, and agree on when and how often you will be screened.

A New Stage

There’s a lot to learn about what happens to your body during menopause. Turn to your Gyn doctor with questions – it’s what we’re here for. And don’t overlook the value of talking with your mom, sisters, and friends who have “been there.”

Rest assured: Menopause is just another stage of life, as natural as any other. With open communication, you can address any concerns you may have about your symptoms and get the help you need.

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If you have any questions about your health or hormone therapy, please contact our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221 or by clicking here. 

About our GYN doctors
and clinic
Our all-female practice covers a wide spectrum of gyn and health issues. Since 2004 our GYN doctors have been caring for women and teens in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth.  Our services include hormone therapy to help women with menopause, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and more.