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Perimenopause Specialist

Pamela G. Gaudry, M.D. -  - Gynecologist

The Georgia Center for Menopausal Medicine

Pamela G. Gaudry, M.D.

Gynecologist & Certified Menopause Practitioner located in Savannah, GA

If you’re experiencing irregularity in your menstruation or symptoms often associated with menopause such as hot flashes, you may have started perimenopause -- the transition to menopause. Dr. Pamela Gaudry, MD, NCMP, FACOG, at the Georgia Center for Menopausal Medicine is an OB/GYN that’s dedicated to helping women better understand this period of their life. She offers both education and treatment for perimenopause at her office in Savannah, Georgia. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment online.

Perimenopause Q & A

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause marks your transition into menopause. During perimenopause, your hormone levels rise and fall, causing changes to your menstrual cycle, which might shorten or lengthen.

Perimenopause ends when you go 12 consecutive months without your period, signaling that you’ve clinically reached menopause.

When does perimenopause start?

Perimenopause starts at different times for women. Most women start the transition in their 40s; however, some women may begin perimenopause while still in their 30s.

Perimenopause is a normal part of your aging process, but some factors may increase the likelihood of you going through the transition early:

  • Smoking
  • Hysterectomy
  • Treatment for cancer
  • Family history

What are the symptoms of perimenopause?

Symptoms of perimenopause are similar to the symptoms women experience during menopause:

  • Hot flashes
  • Sleepless nights
  • Night sweats
  • Changes in mood
  • Decrease in sexual arousal
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bone loss
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Weight gain

You may also experience a change in your cycle, which is often the tell-tale sign that you’re going through the transition. During perimenopause, your cycle may become erratic, causing a heavier than normal flow or the passage of large blood clots. Your change in menstruation may also lead to increased cramping and worsening of your premenstrual symptoms.

Your decreasing estrogen levels cause the symptoms related to perimenopause.

How is perimenopause treated?

Dr. Pam aims treatment for perimenopause at helping you manage your symptoms to improve your quality of life. Treatment options include:

  • Hormonal therapy to relieve hot flashes and night sweats
  • Antidepressants to assist with mood changes and hot flashes
  • Vaginal creams to improve vaginal dryness and intimacy
  • Gabapentin, an anti-seizure medication that reduces hot flashes

In addition to medical treatment, Dr. Pam also discusses lifestyle changes you can make to ease your perimenopause symptoms:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise to help with weight gain and mood
  • Use of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants to improve intimacy
  • Limit caffeine to improve sleep
  • Use of meditation or yoga for stress reduction

Dr. Pam also offers a minimally invasive laser treatment with the MonaLisa Touch® to improve vaginal health and reduce symptoms through the stimulation of collagen production, a structural protein that gives your vaginal skin its resilience. The treatment helps your body rejuvenate vaginal tissue to reduce dryness.

If you’re having a difficult time managing your transition to menopause, call the office or book an appointment online.