Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. During the years of transition the woman suffers symptoms like hot flashes, redness of skin, anxiety etc. Most of these symptoms fade off in a year or two. With the topsy-turvy menstrual patterns, it is extremely difficult to ascertain the exact date of ovulation and plan sex. It is easy to conceive in this milieu. This, if not exactly dangerous, is undesired as babies conceived during the transitional period run a very high risk of abnormalities like Down’s syndrome and many physical defects.
With the resetting of hormones at new levels, it is not uncommon to develop lingering chronic conditions. The conditions that linger on into post menopause are vaginal dryness and itching, vaginal discharge, insomnia, weight gain, stress incontinence and urinary infections. One becomes more susceptible to more serious ailments. There is increased chances of some major ailments such as heart diseases and osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis: Estrogen, a female hormone, has a beneficial effect on preserving the bone mass in women. Post menopause, the levels of this hormone come down, which results in loss of bone material. A systematic physical activity, like regular walking etc. helps control the loss of bone mass. A lot of conventional medications are available for treatment in severe cases.
Heart diseases: There is a theory that tendencies for atherosclerosis increases post menopause due the decreased estrogen levels. This is contested. However, there are increased tendencies for other heart diseases like myocardial infarct and other conditions. Conventional management practices like controlling hypertension, cholesterol with statins, lifestyle changes etc. are generally adequate. At one time MHT or menopausal hormone therapy was standard. Later research has revealed serious drawback to it. It is now resorted to only in extreme cases.
Regular exercise, and balanced diet are all that is needed in most cases.
One need not develop a notion postmenopausal life is all a misery. There are a lot of positives to take. Set up a regular exercise regime like walking, indulge in a happy social life, eat a balanced diet and visit your healthcare provider regularly. There is enough evidence to support an active sex life is good for health in many ways. One has fulfilled all their responsibilities and no fear of a pregnancy. There are enough and more choices in the market to counter postmenopausal dryness of vagina. There are no reasons for anyone to have restrict their sex life. It is one of the blessings of menopause.