- How you doin’?
- Let’s be breast friends.
- Wait, is that…?
- Other health issues.
- Time for some primary care.
Just when you’re settling into the new way of things and thinking you’re out of the woods body-change-wise, you realize your body has other plans. Let us help you understand what’s happening on the other side of menopause and how to stay healthy and feel well.
Nearly all people in this age range will be on the other side of the menopause transition. Conventional wisdom holds that symptoms, if you have them, tend to be the worst in the year leading up to menopause and the year following it. Although you may be outside of this range, you can still get help for symptoms if they’re troubling you. This could include hormone replacement therapy or alternative remedies, depending on what and how bothersome your symptoms are.
Your breast cancer risk increases with age and our attention to your breast exam does, too. Mammography has been shown to detect around 90% of breast cancers and a breast exam by a health provider has been shown to be a good addition to that.
Ah, yes. If you haven’t experienced urine leakage before, it’s not uncommon to experience it during and after menopause as estrogen continues to decline and cause changes in the tissue and muscle of the vagina, urethra and pelvic floor. The good news: urinary incontinence tends to respond very well to treatment and there are a wide range of options. Even though it can feel awkward to bring up, trust us—it’s worth it! Your clinician may have some initial suggestions to address what you’re experiencing or may recommend seeing one of our urogynecologists – a.k.a., pelvic floor health superheroes.
We want you to continuing living a full and healthy life as you age. Your provider will probably want to talk about the things that could be most likely to affect that as you age, such as smoking, obesity, your family history and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
If they haven’t already, it’s likely that health issues will come up that have nothing to do with your reproductive health, and we want you to have a go-to primary health provider to help you—and us—address those things. If you need a recommendation, just ask!
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Menopause is defined as the absence of spontaneous periods for 12 months. The average age of menopause in the U.S. is 52. Symptoms of the menopause transition (called perimenopause) can begin as early as 10 years before menopause and continue for several years after. Learn more >
Screening means looking for signs of disease or assessing risk factors for developing disease before you have any noticeable physical symptoms. Mammography is one way we screen for breast disease. Pap tests screen for cervical cancer or changes that could lead to cervical cancer. DEXA scanning screens for osteoporosis. Measuring blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and blood glucose helps us screen for risk factors that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Learn more about recommended screening by age range.
Emotional health and wellbeing refers to our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life in a positive way and recognize and manage negative emotions, like stress, anger and sadness. Emotional health is very important to physical health because when you’re not able to process negative emotions or manage stress, it can impact sleep or lead to unhealthy coping strategies—such as substance abuse, emotional eating, etc. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, your relationships are suffering or you’d like help finding healthier coping strategies, talk to your provider about a referral to one of our behavioral health specialists.
The bladder is a muscular sac located in the pelvis just above and behind the pubic bone. It stores urine as it is a produced by the body until we go to the bathroom and release it on purpose in a controlled way through the urethra and out of the body. Loss of bladder control is called urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can occur when the muscles of the bladder squeeze uncontrollably or when the muscles holding the bladder or opening to the urethra become weakened. Other types of bladder function problems can include bladder overflow and the retention of urine. There are a variety of ways we can help with urinary incontinence, so talk to your provider if this is an issue for you. Learn more about urinary incontinence.
A website to compare the cost of prescription medications.
A website by the National Institutes for Health to help you make informed decisions about ways to supplement your traditional healthcare.
A searchable database of current medical information for both patients and providers.
The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – this is a great resource for vaccination and disease screening and prevention recommendations.
Articles and other resources on menopause.
A good resource for articles on sex after 40. Also includes various products, but this is not a specific endorsement of those.
Articles, fact sheets, resources and infographics on staying healthy throughout your life from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Excellent breastfeeding information!