What Happens After Menopause?

Post menopausal women in a circle sitting on exercise balls at the gym

When we reach the post-menopausal phase of our lives it can be a relief to be free of some of the symptoms of the transition, but are we still at risk of some health conditions, and should we continue with supplements like the MenoShake™?

Technically speaking, once your periods have stopped for 12 months you’re considered to be post-menopause and will remain in that phase for the rest of your life, but what we're really interested in is when symptoms stop and we can start feeling like our new/old selves again.

When menopause truly ends differs from person to person, but the majority of people will have stopped experiencing symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings around four years after our last period.  Some women can experience symptoms (at varying degrees of intensity) for up to 12 years after stopping menstruation, and a small percentage may experience continuing symptoms for the rest of their lives.  The good news is that medical treatment and supplements can be continued for as long as needed in most cases.  Your doctor is best placed to advise on which medications can safely be continued for you as an individual, so do speak to your general practitioner if you have any questions in this area.

There is some evidence to suggest that the length, severity and pattern of our menopause will be similar to that of our mother’s, and we're going to address that in a separate blog post because it's a wealth of information in itself!  We can, however, get some idea of what to expect from the experiences of our older female relatives so if you can get that information from them it is worth being armed with it.

Many of the conditions we are at increased risk from post-menopause include osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and we often see patterns of these ailments run in families. However, people can develop these health problems as a result of lifestyle and environmental factors too, so there's no guarantee that because your mother has a healthy heart that you can play fast and loose with your cholesterol intake!

Increasing exercise (and switching the type of exercise we do so it's suitable for our older bodies) is a really important part of managing life post-menopause.  It helps regulate our weight, mood and sleep cycle so if there's one thing we can do to help keep many problems at bay, it's getting regular exercise.  Sadly, one symptom of post-menopause can't be helped with exercise, and that's the sometimes touchy subject of vaginal dryness.

Oestrogen levels in our early lives help keep our genital tissue lubricated and regenerated, but as you get older and stop producing this hormone you can experience vaginal dryness.  This happens to every woman and although it can be painful and sometimes embarrassing, you are not alone.  Topical lubricants make sex less painful and more enjoyable by replacing the natural lubricant we can't produce anymore, while oestrogen gels can help maintain the tissue.  Vaginal tissue atrophy can also contribute to dyspareunia or painful intercourse (which leads to a loss of libido) because the tissue is thinner and more prone to damage. 

Lubricants can help reduce the risk of friction damage and bruising, and we may need to change the way we have sex to be more suitable for our more delicate tissue.  Take more time with foreplay, experiment with non-penetrative ways of sharing sexual pleasure with your partner, and don't be afraid to discuss this with your girl friends (or to share a great idea you've tried and tested in the bedroom!).

Continuing with HRT is a discussion to have with your doctor, but you can definitely continue with the supplements that have worked for you, including the MenoShake™, for as long as you need it. 

Watch this space for new products that can help post-menopausal women as we develop new ideas.

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