Menopause Specialist

Jennifer Hutchison, MD -  - Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Sunflower Women's Health Care

Jennifer Hutchison, MD

Obstetrician/Gynecologist & Obstetrics and Gynecology located in Tucson, AZ

Menopause is the start of a new and exciting phase of life, but it can sometimes be a struggle to manage the symptoms that it can cause. Jennifer Hutchison, MD, FACOG, of Sunflower Women's Health Care in Tucson, Arizona, is an experienced OB/GYN who provides effective treatments and valuable support for women who are having a difficult time. If you need help with menopausal symptoms, call Sunflower Women's Health Care today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.

Menopause Q & A

What is menopause?

Menopause is a phase women go through, most commonly when they’re in their middle years between age 45 and 55, that signifies the end of their ability to become pregnant.

Production of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone which regulate reproduction slows down from early middle age until after several years your ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone altogether. Your periods become less frequent during this process, eventually stopping for good.

When you’ve not had a period for a minimum of 12 months, you’re in menopause. The time before this, when hormone production starts to slow, is called perimenopause. While some women have few if any difficulties transitioning through perimenopause into menopause, others find it a considerable struggle and experience distressing side effects.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

There’s a broad range of possible symptoms that can arise as hormone levels start to drop. You may experience one or two, or many of them, and some may worsen while others improve over time. Common symptoms of menopause patients of Sunflower Women’s Health Care seek treatment for include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
  • Problems sleeping

You could experience any combination of symptoms at varying degrees of severity, so Dr. Hutchison creates a personalized treatment plan that aims to provide effective relief for your symptoms rather than just prescribing the same treatment for every patient.

What treatments are available for menopausal symptoms?

One of the most important ways to manage perimenopause and menopause is to take good care of yourself and make sure you’re leading a healthy lifestyle. Being overweight or obese, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, high-stress levels, being physically unfit; all these common unhealthy lifestyle factors can contribute to how well you get through your menopause. Dr. Hutchison can explain more when you see her at Sunflower Women’s Health Care and support you in making changes that can help you feel better, such as weight loss and smoking cessation.

If you need medication in addition to making lifestyle changes, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is one of the most effective forms of treatment for menopausal symptoms. If you’re a suitable candidate for HRT, Dr. Hutchison gives you a course of pills that contain estrogen and progesterone, or sometimes estrogen on its own.

The pills replace some of the hormones you’re losing as your body slows down production, thereby reversing the severity of your symptoms. You can also use HRT creams or patches rather than pills, and if vaginal dryness is a particular issue, you can use a vaginal cream or tablet.

Dr. Hutchison also offers MonaLisa Touch® laser treatments to help reverse vaginal atrophy and restore lubrication, two common side effects of aging and menopause.

Find out more about managing menopause by calling Sunflower Women’s Health Care today, or book an appointment online.