Most people think they know what happens in the run-up to menopause, but how many people truly know what happens after? What are post-menopausal symptoms? For some reason, the discussion of what happens to women after menopause is still something of a taboo. We think that it’s time this changed and we had a frank discussion about what happens.
Most women reach menopause between their late forties or early sixties. This means that being post-menopausal could last from your late 50s to the end of your life. You could be in this phase of your life for over 40 years. In that case, don’t you think it’s worth knowing what may happen? Keep reading to learn more about what happens to women post-menopause.
The medical definition of menopause is going over 12 months without having a period. From that point forward, you could consider yourself to be “postmenopausal.” Basically, any point after menopause is considered postmenopausal.
The menopause might be over, but that doesn’t mean that the changes to your body are. As you continue down the path of life and your hormones adjust to their new normal, this can present several effects for your mental and physical health – and even appearance.
Here are the most common postmenopause symptoms.
As your body adjusts to changing hormones and things settle down, the hormonal symptoms of menopause start to fade away. This means that you won’t get as many hot flashes as before. Don’t celebrate too soon, however, as it could be up to eight years before they finally go away. There’s also the chance that they could get worse before getting better and disappearing.
The problem is that estrogen levels fluctuate during menopause. You won’t have many symptoms when levels get too high. However, once you go into menopause and levels start to drop, those symptoms get worse. The more your estrogen drops, the worse the hot flashes get. At least, until your body gets used to the reduced estrogen.
Menopause has several effects on your breasts. For example, it can lead to smaller breasts, it can change the shape of them, and it could cause increased breast tenderness. Your breasts may even become more prone to developing lumps. One of the causes of breast tenderness postmenopausal is fluctuating weight. These changes cause your breasts to lose elasticity as well. It may be time that you had another bra fitting to make sure you’re getting the right size.
How fat settles on your body may change post menopause. It’s less likely that fat will settle on your thighs and hips. Instead, it’s more likely going to settle on your waistline. There’s no definitive cause for this, but doctors believe that the body could be trying to “hoard” estrogen in the fat cells around the tummy. The problem is that this type of fat is the kind associated with health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. You may want to step up your efforts to stay in shape.
The skin of – and around – the vagina and vulva becomes thinner and loses its elasticity after menopause. This change means that sex becomes more painful or uncomfortable for women. Another issue is that it causes you to produce less lubricating mucus. This is one of the causes of bleeding in postmenopausal women. The good news is that you can still have a healthy and active sex life after menopause. There are lots of ways to remedy the situation and have an active sex life into your 40s and beyond.
Estrogen does more than you might expect. For example, it’s responsible for keeping your bladder, pelvic muscles, and urethra working properly. Without estrogen, loss of bladder control can become an issue for women going through menopause. One way to deal with this is to practice Kegel exercises and get better natural control over your pelvic floor.
Bone density loss is a serious problem for postmenopausal women. You can lose up to 20% of your bone density within the first seven years after menopause. This leads to issues such as an increased risk of osteoporosis or bone fractures. You can fight back against that bone density loss by getting plenty of calcium and practicing strength-training exercises.
Estrogen may be responsible for improving blood vessel flexibility. It certainly plays a role, but it’s unknown how much of one. As estrogen levels drop post-menopause, it leads to increased blood pressure. It also causes increases in LDL cholesterol levels, which is bad cholesterol. That combination leads to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. An increased risk of heart attack sets in at around 10 years after menopause. You can fight back against these risks by exercising regularly, consuming less sugar and red meat, and eating more healthy fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Hormone replacement therapy is the easiest and most effective way to manage menopausal symptoms. One of the benefits of HRT postmenopausal treatment is that it replaces the missing estrogen. These medications relieve hot flashes, the causes of postmenopausal cramping, and other symptoms such as the asymptomatic postmenopausal endothermal thickening that comes with reduced estrogen levels. The benefits of hrt postmenopausal treatment are high, so consider consulting your doctor.
Taking care of yourself is another way to gain control over your postmenopause symptoms. Adopt healthy eating and exercise habits, get plenty of rest at night, and keep up your strength so you can deal with the changes of having less estrogen. Staying in shape makes you less likely to be bothered by things such as hot flashes while also reducing the likelihood of them occurring.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of HRT postmenopausal treatment or get a consultation about the treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.