Menopause and Early Menopause: What Women Need to Know
August 17, 2016
Menopause is something that every woman experiences at some point in her lifetime. Learn what to expect and how you can help manage the symptoms and health risks.
Most women don’t experience menopause until their 50s, but certain factors such as chromosomal abnormalities, glandular problems and chemotherapy can cause early menopause before the age of 40. No matter what your age, it’s a good idea be aware of the risks and treatments available to maintain a comfortable and healthy lifestyle.
Health Risks of Menopause
Two of the biggest health risks posed to women who have gone through menopause are bone density loss and risk of cardiovascular disease. Bone loss can be treated with bisphosphonate and estrogens.
“Calcium with vitamin D and weight bearing exercise will also limit bone loss,” says Vickie Tippett, MD and OB/GYN at Renown Health.
For cardiovascular risk, a healthy lifestyle is key. Discontinuing tobacco use, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight and diet all help reduce a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
Managing Discomforts of Menopause
One of the most common complaints about menopause is the discomfort of hot flashes.
“Hot flashes can be treated with systemic estrogen alone or in combination with progesterone or another agent similar to estrogen,” Dr. Tippett says. “Non-hormonal medications such as SSRIs and antidepressants also work.”
Vaginal dryness, another common symptom of menopause, can also be treated with estrogen, estrogen-like compounds and personal lubricants. Pills, patches, creams and many other formulations are available to help alleviate discomfort.
Knowing when, why and what to expect when it comes to menopause can help make the transition easier.
Learn the facts about menopause in the infographic below.
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