A woman will spend about a third of her life in menopause. That's why a new center in Houston is dedicated to helping women receive the best quality of life during those sometimes challenging years.
You're probably familiar with the obvious signs of menopause, which include hot flashes and night sweats, but there are many more physical and mental health issues associated with it that can be frustrating, even debilitating.
Retired political science professor Pauline Schloesser now owns a yoga studio in the Heights.
A healthy, active 49-and-a-half years old, Schloesser started experiencing symptoms of menopause in her mid-40s, including joint pain, vision changes, headaches and more.
"What happened that really made me seek help is the mood changes," said Schloesser. "I started to get depressive and angry for no reason."
She said even her libido changed.
"It's like a second adolescence and that I don't think anyone prepared me for," said Schloesser.
Schloesser is one of the first patients at The Menopause Center at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. It's an extension of the hospital's mission to care for women well past motherhood.
What's unique about the center is that doctors focus not only on the physical changes a woman goes through during menopause, but also psychiatric issues.
"It interferes with their life all aspects: Vocational, maternal, social, sexual, so there's a need there," said co-director and gynecologist Dr. Ronald Young.
Young is a leading researcher in his field and says with the controversies surrounding hormone replacement therapy, specialists here are dedicated to offering women the latest data and cutting edge treatment available.
"Even if you're violently, inherently, genetically opposed to hormones, that doesn't mean a good menopause specialist can't help you get through the menopause and maintain the best level of health that you possibly can maintain," said Young.
Doctors say preventative care and lifestyle changes can also ease the journey through menopause.
"The way I look at it is menopause is a really great opportunity to make some important changes in life that will take you through the second half," said Schloesser.