What Menopausal Women Should Know About 10 Health Conditions
You’ve probably heard it referred to as “the change,” and it’s a natural part of a woman’s life. Menopause marks the end of childbearing years and can present several unique challenges.
We’ve compiled a useful list of these challenges to let you know about the 10 health conditions of which postmenopausal women should be aware.
What Menopausal Women Should Know About These 10 Health Conditions
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease is extremely common among Americans, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths.
When you enter menopause, your estrogen declines. As a result, you have a greater risk of heart disease. We will work with you to develop a health care plan to enable you to reduce your risk for heart disease, including helping you get an exercise routine started. This is because we care about your overall health as much as we care about your gynecological health.
2. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Because there is a decrease in your estrogen, you’re more susceptible to a UTI. The thin, dry walls of your vagina make it easier for bacteria to grow, which, in turn, can lead to a UTI. Your risk of developing one increases as you age.
Your bones weaken and grow thinner as you age. Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become weaker and brittle—placing you at greater risk for serious fractures. Loss of estrogen causes you to lose bone density, which increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.
You can read more about this disease through the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
4. Painful Sex
Vaginal dryness and loss of vaginal elasticity means sex can become uncomfortable or even painful. It can even lead to slight bleeding. (One important note here: If you are experiencing consistent vaginal bleeding outside of sex and you’re in menopause, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible, as this could be indicative of another health issue.)
If sex becomes increasingly uncomfortable for you, please let us know. We can work with you to find viable solutions.
5. Low Libido
During menopause, you may find that you’re not as interested in sex. This is because of fluctuating hormones and decreased estrogen levels. This may be also due to the fact that sex is becoming more painful for you. We go into detail about a decreased libido in an earlier article.
6. Urinary Incontinence
First, urinary incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s actually very common among many postmenopausal women. You may experience strong urges to urinate (urge incontinence) or stress incontinence, which occurs after coughing, laughing or lifting.
If you have urinary incontinence, you can strengthen your muscles through Kegel exercises, which have been successful in relieving symptoms.
7. Gaining Weight
It’s an unfortunate, but true, fact. After menopause, your metabolism slows. You’ll find that you need to exercise and eat right even more diligently just to maintain your weight.
We believe in not just helping your gynecological health—we want you to be healthy in all aspects of your life. If you are concerned about weight gain, talk to us, and we’ll create a comprehensive plan tailored for your needs.
8. Dental Health
Menopause can lead to dry mouth, which causes more dental cavities. This is why it’s so vital to maintain good oral health and regular dental visits. You should schedule regular cleanings twice a year.
9. Vaginal Itchiness
As we mentioned earlier, your vaginal walls thin as you enter menopause. As a result, the skin becomes dry and itchy. This is due to low estrogen levels and possible development of vaginal atrophy.
10. Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy, which is also referred to as genitourinary syndrome of menopause, refers to several symptoms that affect your vagina and urinary functions as a result of low estrogen.
The symptoms of vaginal atrophy include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal itching
- Painful sex
- Yellow discharge
- Vulvar itching
Associates in Women’s Healthcare Will Work With You Throughout Menopause
We’ve had the privilege of treating generations of women. We believe in being proactive in your health, and stopping the progression of certain diseases before they become something more serious.
As women treating women as Raleigh gynecologists, we’ve served patients throughout the Triangle.
We also believe that knowledge is power. Check out our extensive library of useful health articles.
We’ll help you manage the symptoms and health challenges that menopause presents. Just contact us for an appointment.