Menopause Specialist

Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP -  - OBGYN

Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP

OBGYN & Laser Specialist located in Long Beach, CA

Menopause is an inevitable passage for women as the reproductive years wind down, but this journey is not always a smooth one. The changes that menopause brings about can have a significant impact on your quality of life. As a Certified Menopause Practitioner, Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP, can effectively address these issues, allowing you the freedom to enjoy your post-reproductive years. If you’re in the Long Beach, California, area, call Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP to learn more, or schedule an appointment using the handy online booking tool.

Menopause Q & A

What is menopause?

Menopause marks the transition from your reproductive years into your non-reproductive years. Once you’ve no longer had your period for 12 months in a row, you’re considered to be in menopause. A steady decline in your body’s production of estrogen — the hormone in charge of the female reproductive system that drives menopause.

During your late 30s and early 40s, your ovaries produce less estrogen and eventually you enter perimenopause, the stage just before the complete shutdown of egg production. By your late 40s or early 50s, your body makes its final transition into menopause, and you’re no longer fertile.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

For most women, this seemingly simple journey brings about significant changes as their bodies adjust to the new hormone levels, which can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sex
  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain due to slower metabolism
  • Thinning skin and hair

Every woman’s journey into menopause is different. Some women experience minimal symptoms, while others endure years of disruptions that have a significant impact on their daily lives.

Many women also experience urinary incontinence and a loss of bladder control involving involuntary urine leakage when coughing or laughing and sudden uncontrollable urges to urinate. Menopause can lead to urinary incontinence as estrogen production declines. Some experts believe that the loss of estrogen affects the urethral tissue.

Dr. Chao provides a range of treatment options for urinary incontinence, including the MonaLisa Touch laser system, pelvic floor exercises, devices, or surgery.

What can I do to manage my menopause?

Menopause isn’t a curable condition, but gone are the days when women just resigned themselves to the more severe outcomes. Dr. Chao offers several treatments that manage the more debilitating symptoms, allowing you to lead a healthy and happy life.

Management options include:

Hormone replacement therapy

Since a decrease in estrogen causes most of the symptoms, Dr. Chao turns to hormone replacement therapies to restore normal estrogen levels and decrease symptoms like hot flashes and trouble sleeping due to night sweats.

Vaginal revitalization

Dr. Chao offers MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy — a noninvasive laser technique that rejuvenates your vaginal walls to treat dryness issues and thin tissue. The laser therapy gently stimulates collagen production, which is the foundation behind the elasticity in your tissue, allowing you to enjoy an active sex life during your post-menopausal years.

To learn more about offsetting the negative impacts of menopause, call Dr. Cynthia Chao or book an appointment online.

MenoPro App

Please download MenoPro App at: https://www.menopause.org/for-women/-i-menopro-i-mobile-app

The MenoPro app for Menopausal Symptom Management, developed together with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), is designed to help clinicians and women/patients work together to personalize treatment decisions based on the patient’s personal preferences (e.g., hormonal vs non-hormonal treatment options) and her medical history and risk factors.

The app has several unique features, including:

  • Two modes: one for health care providers and one for women/patients
  • Calculates a 10-year cardiovascular disease risk score (heart disease and stroke) for the patient, which is important for clinical decision making about available options
  • Links to a breast cancer risk score and to an osteoporosis/bone fracture risk assessment
  • Educational materials, including information pages on behavioral and lifestyle modifications to reduce hot flashes, pros and cons of hormonal vs non-hormonal options, pros and cons of oral (pills) vs transdermal (patches/gels/sprays) therapy, options for treatment of vaginal dryness/ pain with sexual activities; direct links to tables with the different formulations and doses of medications; as well as contraindications and cautions
  • Patient summary of the decision-making process and the above information pages/handouts

Menopausal symptoms vary dramatically among women. Some women have no symptoms as they go through the menopause transition, and other women find that their quality of life is severely affected by hot flashes, night-time sweats, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and vaginal dryness/pain with sexual activities. Some women are good candidates for hormonal treatments and others, due to their personal preferences or risk factors, are not good candidates and should consider non-hormonal options. One of the most complex health care decisions facing women in mid-life is whether to use prescription medications for menopausal symptom management, and the array of treatment options has grown markedly in recent years. This new app helps women work together with their clinicians to find the optimal treatment approach.

North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

You can find out more about menopause at https://www.menopause.org/.

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