Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #052: What do I need to consider when I am postmenopausal?

Dear MHI reader

In today’s issue of our newsletter, we are looking at the postmenopause. Postmenopause is the time after the menopause.

It is the time when menopausal symptoms gradually subside. Unfortunately, there is also bad news. Postmenopausal women have an increased risk of a number of health problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease. These risks are due to a number of factors such as lower oestrogen levels.

How can I tell if I am postmenopausal?

You are considered postmenopausal if you have not menstruated for a year. Another way to determine if you are postmenopausal is to have your doctor measure your follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland. Your FSH level rises dramatically when your ovaries begin to shut down; these levels can be easily checked with a blood test. However, FSH levels can fluctuate greatly during the perimenopause (before the menopause). Therefore, you can only really be sure that you are definitely postmenopausal if you have not had a period for a year.

What changes can I expect in the postmenopause?

In the postmenopause, you will probably have more energy again, but also a higher risk of certain diseases. Medication and/or a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of some of the diseases associated with the menopause. As the risk varies from woman to woman, you should discuss with your doctor what you can do to reduce your individual risk.

Can I get pregnant during the postmenopause?

Normally, the possibility of pregnancy disappears if you have not menstruated for a year. However, continue to use contraception until your doctor determines that you are truly postmenopausal.

How often should I see my doctor during the postmenopause?

Even in postmenopause, regular check-ups such as pelvic examinations, smear tests, breast examinations and mammograms are among the most important things you can do for yourself. How often you should have an examination depends on your medical history. Talk to your doctor about how often you should go for a check-up.

Not only the perimenopause but also the postmenopause is a challenge, even though the symptoms are less severe. It’s important to understand what to expect during this time. With a healthy lifestyle, you can also positively influence this phase.

We hope this information will help you to better understand the menopause and take practical steps to deal with it. If you need personal advice or support on your journey through the menopause, contact The Women Circle here.

In our next edition, again on Saturday at 9am, we will cover more aspects of the menopause and women’s health. Stay informed and feel comfortable in this special phase of life.

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