Overview of postmenopause
Menopause occurs when menstrual periods stop permanently. If you are in postmenopause, you have already gone through menopause; more than a year has passed since your last menstrual period.
Postmenopausal health concerns are the result of low estrogen levels. Postmenopausal symptoms may include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Urinary incontinence
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
If you are experiencing postmenopausal symptoms, the experienced team of gynecologists at Dignity Health are here to provide lasting care during postmenopause in AZ, CA, and NV. Find a Doctor and make an appointment today.
Health management of post menopause
As a woman in postmenopause, you may face some additional health risks and challenges, including:
- Osteoporosis: Women lose an average of 25 percent of their bone mass yearly from the time of menopause until age 60, increasing the risk of broken bones. To protect your bones, eat a diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Get regular physical activity; weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running and using weights help your bone stay strong. Ask your doctor about taking a calcium supplement. If your risk of osteoporosis is high, your doctor may also suggest prescription medication.
- Urinary problems: Bladder leakage and urge incontinence (suddenly and urgently needing to use the bathroom) are both common postmenopause. If you experience either of these problems, let your doctor know. Treatments such as bladder training and prescription medication can help.
- Sexual problems: Some women find sex uncomfortable after menopause, often due to vaginal dryness. Over-the-counter lubricants can help, as can prescription estrogen creams, applied vaginally. Your interest in sex may change after menopause, too.
- Heart disease: After menopause, a woman’s cholesterol levels increase, along with the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. You can modify this risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your blood pressure within normal limits, and getting plenty of exercise. Your doctor can help by checking your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and, if needed, prescribe medication. Your doctor can also connect you with one our nutritionists who can help you manage your weight and learn to eat a healthy diet.
- Emotional well-being: Some women experience feelings of distress, anxiety, and depression around menopause. Life is not ending, but is simply entering a new season filled with challenges and joyful surprises. If feelings about postmenopause interfere with your ability to function and enjoy life, talk to your doctor.
Together, you and your doctor can create a plan to help you navigate the challenges of postmenopause.
Dignity Health provides compassionate care during postmenopause in Arizona, California, and Nevada.