Postmenopause

Postmenopause is the time after you've been without a menstrual period for 12 months. During this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, get milder or go away. People in postmenopause are at increased risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.

Frequent Symptoms

Menopause causes significant changes in your body. Many people experience at least mild symptoms during perimenopause. Research has shown that people usually start perimenopause in their 40s and reach menopause when they are 51 years old.

Symptoms continue after menopause most of the time, but are usually less severe. The following are the most common postmenopause symptoms:

  • Hot flashes

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Vaginal thinning

  • Night sweats

  • Weight gain

  • Brain fog

  • Mood swings

 

Menopause symptoms and length vary from person to person. Hot flashes and vaginal changes are due to the decrease in estrogen levels.

Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat in the body and can last up to 10 minutes. Women can experience hot flashes several times an hour, a few times a day, or just once a week.

While each woman has a unique experience, it is most common for some frequent symptoms to worsen with age. For example, vaginal changes, including drying, itching, and burning, tend to worsen with age. On the other hand, some women report feeling the most interested in sex before and after menopause.

CREDIT: Very Well Health

2

Rare Symptoms

There are several rare symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Headache

  • Metallic taste in the mouth

  • Burning mouth or tongue

  • Teeth issues

 

While rare symptoms are usually harmless, it’s important to check with a doctor if you experience unexpected symptoms. These unexpected symptoms could be a sign of other serious conditions.

3

Complications

While symptoms of postmenopause can be a bother, it’s a normal part of life. However, after menopause there is a higher risk of complications than at any other time. Complications are also due to dwindling hormone levels.

Common complications of postmenopause include:

  • High cholesterol levels

  • Blood sugar disruptions

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Osteoporosis

  • Painful intercourse

  • Periodontal disease

 

Two of the most serious complications to look for are osteoporosis and a rise in cholesterol levels, which can contribute to heart disease. These complications can be managed with help from your doctor and early detection.

4

Postmenopause Risks

Besides persisting symptoms, postmenopausal women face an increased risk of several health complications.

Throughout their reproductive lives, estrogen and progesterone served numerous health-protective functions, like preventing heart disease and maintaining bone density. Now that their levels remain low, those protective roles are not as well expressed, making women more susceptible of the following menopause problems:

  • Osteoporosis. Estrogen loss after menopause may lead to the development of osteoporosis, a disease characterized by reduced bone density. This causes bones to become brittle and weak, increasing women's risk of fractures.

  • Heart disease. Hormonal lows may also may lead to an increase in the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides, elevating the risk of developing heart disease after menopause.

  • Hypertension. After menopause, about 75% of women have high blood pressure, either due to hormonal shifts, weight gain, or aging itself.4 Untreated hypertension is linked to complications, such as stroke or heart attacks.

Certain postmenopausal lifestyle habits, including leading a sedentary lifestyle and smoking, may further worsen the risks of the aforementioned and other health complications