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What should a woman in menopause expect when she visits a gynecologist? What should doctors do?
What should be done during routine examination?
A woman in menopause who consulted a gynecologist for the first time is interviewed in detail. Especially diseases in her family and in her past are questioned. Breast cancer and atherosclerosis history, steroid hormone use, malign disease presence must be asked. Exercise and nutritional habits must be questioned. Nutrition becomes more important with menopause.
Women who got breast cancer in first degree relatives must have mammography and ultrasonography at 35 apart from breast examinations on her own and continue with ultrasonography controls each year until 40 and have her routine mammography and breast ultrasonography each year just as any woman after 40.
Which Tests should be done?
During examination, cervical smear is taken and information about endometrium is gained which would not be gained with vaginal ultrasonography and examinations.
Patient’s blood lipids, sugar, liver and kidney function tests are ordered. Every woman after 40 must have yearly mammography. If there are no risk factors such as being too weak, use of steroid hormone, familial osteoporosis history and smoking there is no need to ask for bone intensity tests. If patient is in menopause for over 5 years, bone intensity should be checked whether or not there are risk factors.
Treatment Process of Menopausal Period Getting into a Shape
Menopausal period is an ongoing process of a woman’s life. Every woman should adapt to this process and take professional help in this direction.
- Things that should be done for adaption to menopausal process
Patient’s menstrual cycle is questioned in order to understand whether patient is in menopause or not. Presence of vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, sweating etc), especially distractibility, lack of libido, vaginal dryness, back and lumbar pain and such symptoms should be questioned.
Treatment of menopausal symptoms and complaints such as hot flashes of postmenopausal syndrome is managed according to the answers to these questions. Complaints must be understood clearly, thus gynecologist must spend some time on it. Doctor should focus on basic complaints of a woman in menopause and shape the treatment at this frame. For example while a group of women complaints more about hot flashes while others may be suffering more from lack of libido. Therefore, gynecologist must listen to the woman, understand and treat her.