Menopausal Care

Click here to watch Dr. Omicioli explain how to manage menopause symptoms in a recent FOX 45 Morning News broadcast.

Prepared By: Valerie A Omicioli, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor and
Certified Menopause Practitioner
Division of Gynecology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Our Services

Comprehensive Menopausal Health Care services are available through the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Division of Gynecology. Our patients include mid-life women who have completed child-bearing, and peri and postmenopausal women of all ages. Services provided include:

  • Annual well woman gynecological exams
  • Evaluation and treatment of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, mood changes, and abnormal bleeding. We will discuss bio-identical hormones, compounded hormones, different ways to administer hormones (pill, patch, gel, cream, vaginal tablets and rings) and explore non-hormonal therapies
  • Gynecologic care of women with menopausal symptoms or sexual concerns after cancer treatment or related to chronic diseases
  • Evaluation and management of sexual problems including decreased libido, diminished genital sensitivity, pain with intercourse, difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Breast Health including breast self-exam, referral for mammograms and other screening modalities, risk assessment for breast cancer, prevention strategies for high risk women, and gynecologic care for breast cancer survivors
  • Osteoporosis screening and treatment, including referral for bone density testing, recommendations for calcium and Vitamin D therapy, weight bearing exercises, and medications
  • Screening for colon cancer, including fecal occult blood testing and referrals for colonoscopy
  • Screening for pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, pessary fitting and care and coordinating referrals to urogynecology specialists for treatment
  • Healthy lifestyle choices including a heart healthy diet, exercise, lipid screening, and smoking cessation referrals

In addition, we provide guidance and support in navigating the transition through menopause, including decisions regarding hormone therapy, preventative care, and changes in sexual function.

A complete medical history and exam focuses on each woman's symptoms, past medical history, risk factors, family history and personal preferences. Our practitioners involve patients in all aspects of their care, share information and decision making, and provide treatment recommendations in a caring atmosphere.

After the comprehensive evaluation, each care plan is individualized. Our physicians consider both the physical and emotional aspects of mature women's health needs, emphasizing healthy lifestyle choices to promote and maintain quality of life.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

As women age, ovarian function declines, menstrual cycles become irregular and eventually stop, resulting in a marked decrease in estrogen levels.

In some women, the transition through menopause may be relatively symptom free; however, over 50 percent of women experience problematic symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness are the most common menopausal complaints. The decrease in estrogen is also associated with an increase in the risk of osteoporosis and may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.

Should I start hormones? Which hormones should I take? How long should I take them? How do I go off hormones? How long will my symptoms last? These are just a few of the questions that patients bring to the Menopausal Medicine specialists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

It seems that every day new and conflicting information appear in the media. Women want to relieve their hot flashes, insomnia, and vaginal discomfort, prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and colon cancer without increasing their risk of breast cancer or stroke.

Women who are having menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, painful sex or sexual dysfunction should consider starting or staying on estrogen to treat their symptoms. Taking estrogen for five years or less may be safer than long term use. About 50 percent of women will experience a recurrence of their symptoms when they stop hormone therapy. However, the symptoms are often less intense and tend to decrease in severity over time.

Over the last few years, attention has focused on the risks of estrogen therapy. Your doctors will thoroughly discuss the potential risks and benefits and develop an individual program that meets your needs and concerns. For example, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse can usually be treated with local vaginal estrogen. The low doses and minimal absorption of estrogen make this a safe and effective treatment for women who cannot or may not need to use systemic estrogen therapy.

For more information see Making Sense of Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy: Is It Right For Me?

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-6640 or toll-free at 866-608-4228.

This page was last updated: July 29, 2014

         
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