Menopause Unveiled: A Q&A Session with Dr. Karen Pike


Has it been more than 12 months since you stopped having your periods? Are you someone around 50 years old?

Then, the chances are that you are experiencing menopause. While menopause doesn’t have any specific age at which all women enter this stage. But 50 is the average age, and it can happen anytime between 45 and 55 years of age.

According to a study, 1-2% of women experience premature menopause before turning 40. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, including smoking.

Now, menopause is something we all know we will experience at some point in our lives. But there are a lot of things associated with it that we have no idea about.

For example, does the period stop all of a sudden? Will menopause affect our sex drive? Should we be concerned about birth control? And the list goes on and on.

So, to help you find answers to questions related to menopause, we have come up with a short Q&A session with Dr. Karen Pike.

Dr. Karen Pike is director of the Emergency Department at her hospital in northern California. She has been working tirelessly to improve women’s health, especially the ones going through menopause.

Interview with Dr. Karen Pike

Q: Many of our readers are not sure about how menopause occurs. Does it happen all of a sudden once we reach the age?

A: I get this question a lot from my patients. The answer is no. Your periods don’t stop all of a sudden. Before your period gets stopped, you enter a phase called perimenopause.

During this time, your ovaries reduce the production of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. You stop having regular periods. And then, when you don’t experience periods for more than a year, know that you have reached menopause.

Q: Can you tell us more about the symptoms of menopause?


A: We as individuals are different, and so not all women will face the same symptoms when it comes to menopause. But of course, there are some common symptoms that include:

· Hot flashes

· Dryness in the vagina

· Trouble sleeping

· Mood swings

· Weight gain

· Sexual problems

· Forgetfulness

· Headaches

· Joint pain

Q: Does menopause lead to bone loss? If so, is there any way to prevent it?

A: When you go through menopause, your body produces lower levels of estrogen. This can lead to loss of bone in women. This can weaken your bones, and when that happens at a fast pace, it can eventually lead to a condition named osteoporosis.

I suggest you do weight-bearing exercises to keep your bones healthy and strong. You can try climbing stairs, walking, or weight training. Eat food that is rich in vitamin D and calcium. Also, you can take vitamin D and calcium supplements after consulting with your doctor.

Q: Should we be worried about birth control even after menopause?

A: Well, you stop having your period once menopause hits, right? But until it’s more than a year that you haven’t had your period, it is always best to use birth control.

This is because you don’t know if it is the stage before menopause or actual menopause. This makes precaution a must if you don’t want to get pregnant.

Q: Should we start hormone therapy?

A: When it comes to easing hot flashes during menopause, I come across women who are either very eager to begin hormone therapy or are scared of it – all thanks to the new information they read online.

You might have read that hormone therapy increases the chances of breast cancer, heart attack, and more. However, there are also studies that show how these risks are limited.

If you ask me, I would suggest you try other options first. For example, you can sip cold drinks, carry a portable fan, or dress in layers. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, as that can lead you to have more hot flashes.

Q: Can menopause affect a woman’s sex drive?

A: This is such a topic that is less addressed, and many of my patients have actually become hesitant to talk about it. After all, it’s very personal.

During menopause, your hormone levels fluctuate a lot. This can lead your vagina to stay dry even during intercourse, causing pain. This fear of pain can lead you to not initiate sex with your partner.

You can use lubricants and vaginal moisturizers to get rid of this situation. But in case that doesn’t work, it would be best to talk to your ob-gyn.

Q: How will our readers reach you if they have any other questions regarding menopause?

A: Menopause is a phase that all women will go through when they age. But as this is a less talked-about topic, many of them have loads of questions that they hesitate to ask anyone or have misconceptions regarding it.


But, if you want to learn more about menopause and how it affects your health, you can visit and check all the articles written by me. You can have a great understanding of what changes your bodies go through during this time and what you can do to make this transition a smooth one.


Dr. Karen Pike is a known name in the field of women’s health and menopause. She has written tons of articles on the same.

Menopause is not something to be scared or worried about. This is a change that our bodies go through. And it can even be a new beginning for you. So, take care of your health and accept this natural process. Also, in case of any issues, make sure to consult your ob-gyn.



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