By definition, menopause occurs 12 months after a woman has her last menstrual period, marking the end of her menstrual cycles. Menopause can occur in a woman’s 40s or 50s, with the average age in the United States being 51.
While menopause is a natural biological process it is not uncommon for women to have various physical symptoms such as low energy levels, lack of sleep, and hot flashes, as well as emotional symptoms like anxiety and feelings of loss. Many effective treatments are available and we encourage all of our patients not to hesitate seeking treatment.
Cardiovascular disease - When estrogen levels decline, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Here, the disease is not only the leading cause of death among men but also among women.
Osteoporosis - During the first few years after menopause, a woman can lose bone density at a rapid rate, which increases her risk of osteoporosis. This causes bones to become weak and brittle. Postmenopausal women who develop osteoporosis are susceptible to fractures of their wrists, spine, and hips.
Urinary incontinence - As vagina and urethra tissues lose elasticity, some women experience sudden, frequent, and strong urges to urinate, followed by an involuntary passing of urine (urge incontinence), or the loss of urine when laughing, coughing, or lifting (stress incontinence). Urinary tract infections can also be a problem.
Weight gain - Because metabolism slows after menopause, weight gain can be a problem for some patients.
While menopause requires no medical treatments, there are a number of treatments your doctor may recommend for relieving symptoms and managing chronic conditions. Treatments may include hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen, low-dose antidepressants, Gabapentin (Neurontin) to help reduce hot flashes, and medications to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
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