Health Risks and Menopause: What You Need to Know - Ellen Dolgen
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Health Risks for Post-Menopausal Women

Life is a journey full of surprises, and for women, one of those surprises is menopause. It’s like a rollercoaster ride through hormonal twists and turns, but with no “You Must Be This Tall to Ride” sign in sight.

There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Post-menopause is that phase of life when you haven’t had a menstrual period for a solid year. Congratulations! You’ve earned your badge of honor. The average age for women to reach post-menopause in the United States is around 51, but remember, it’s not a race. You might get there sooner or later, and that’s perfectly fine. Just think of it as a gift from Mother Nature – no more white dress worries!

There are some health risks associated with post-menopause. It’s helpful to go over these with your menopause specialist. If you don’t have one, I have some helpful tips.

  1. Heart Disease: Before 55, women typically have a lower risk of heart disease compared to men. We have this secret weapon called estrogen that keeps our blood vessels relaxed and our cholesterol in check. But post-menopause, estrogen takes a vacation, and cholesterol starts redecorating artery walls like it’s a home improvement show gone wild. So, ladies, let’s keep an eye on that ticker and maybe sneak in some extra dark chocolate—it’s good for the heart, right?
  2. Stroke: As we age, the risk of stroke doubles every decade after 55. Blame it on those pesky cholesterol deposits in the arteries leading to our brains. It’s like navigating rush-hour traffic when the GPS takes a coffee break. But fear not — with a little TLC for our blood vessels, we can still steer clear of that traffic jam.
  3. Osteoporosis: Losing bone mass during menopause is like trying to build a sandcastle with a disappearing shoreline. Estrogen’s absence speeds up the process, making our bones as fragile as fine china. So, let’s consider those calcium supplements, resistance training, weight training, and a diet rich in lean protein as our daily dose of liquid courage against fractures.
  4. Incontinence: Ah, the joys of incontinence! About half of us post-menopausal women have the pleasure of experiencing it. It’s like our bladders decide to play hide and seek at the most inconvenient times. I have lots of great information on how to cope with incontinence.
  5. Oral Health Issues: Menopause might also throw our oral health for a loop. Our gums suddenly decide to stage a protest. But don’t worry, flossing is still your friend, and even if you need a little extra dental TLC, remember that a fabulous smile never goes out of style.
  6. Weight Gain: Menopause often brings an unwelcome guest—weight gain. It’s like a party crasher who refuses to leave. Blame it on shifting hormones and a metabolism that’s decided to take a snooze. But fear not; with some exercise, healthy eating, and maybe a dance party in the living room, we can keep that party crasher in check.
  7. Sexual Health Changes: Menopause might also tango with our sex life. Suddenly you can feel like your vagina took a trip to the Sahara Desert. Sex can hurt, which definitely will result in your libido taking a nose dive. No worries – I’ve got you. Educate yourself on the options, and then make an appointment with your menopause specialist to create a protocol for your health needs.

Ladies, together with your Menopause Specialist, you can tackle these health risks knowing that you’ve got the wisdom and resilience to navigate this chapter of life.

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* does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.


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