Preparing for Post Menopause
Preparing for Post-Menopause
As menopause winds down and symptoms begin to disappear, many women feel a welcome sense of relief during their post-menopause years. However, declining estrogen levels can leave some post-menopausal women at risk for other medical concerns, including:
• Vaginal dryness. This can be a very common complaint. Up to 50% of the women going through menopause may experience vaginal dryness. It’s usually treated with lubrication, but your doctor may recommend hormone therapy if it’s an ongoing concern.
• Post menopause bleeding. A particularly stressful and emotional event, such as dramatic weight loss, or even hormone replacement therapy can potentially trigger bleeding or spotting.
• Osteoporosis. Risk factors for osteoporosis may include family history, smoking, and side effects from certain medications. But you can take preventive measures. Make sure you get the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D in your diet for strong bones. Start an exercise regimen that strengthens muscles, and improves balance, posture and flexibility. Walking, low impact aerobics and yoga are also great activities to include in your daily routine.
• Urinary incontinence. Although a common symptom of post-menopause, incontinence can be related to other health issues. Watch for frequent infections and leaking. Treatments are available, though, so consider your options.
As your body changes and hormones level out, it’s more important than ever to communicate openly with your doctor. Together, you’ll be able to address many common post-menopause challenges and develop a plan to:
• Keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is as much a problem for women as it is for men.
• Have your cholesterol levels checked.
• Talk about your ideal weight. During menopause, our metabolism slows down and it might be necessary to cut back on calories. But remember, your doctor should be aware of any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
• Watch out for high blood pressure. Post-menopausal women are at increased risk for hypertension and other related conditions.
If you’ve had a bumpy ride through menopause, you’re probably ready to move on. Embrace this next stage of your life and focus on both your mental and physical well-being.