What Other Postmenopausal Health Issues Should I Be Aware of Now?
It's especially important to work closely with your doctor or other health care professional to help maintain your health. Topics to discuss may include
Postmenopausal osteoporosis, or bone thinning, is an important issue. In the first few years after menopause, women experience a rapid acceleration in bone loss, so it's important to ask your doctor what you can do to help protect your bones. If bones are not protected, the progressive thinning and weakening that occurs may lead to osteoporosis, which may lead to subsequent fractures. This can be a serious health risk. Your doctor may suggest a bone mineral density (BMD) test to evaluate your bone health, and may prescribe treatments to help protect your bones.
Cardiovascular disease kills one of every two women in the United States, and the risk increases substantially after menopause. By age 65, one in three women in the United States already has some form of cardiovascular disease, which causes heart attacks and strokes. Unfortunately, some of the most common risk factors are ones you can't even feel, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. That's why menopause is a crucial time to ask your doctor to carefully assess your personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease, so you can act early to help prevent it.
Certain cancers occur more frequently in postmenopausal women. As many as 50% of all cancer cases can be prevented by changing your health habits. And many cases can be successfully treated if they're detected early. It's important to have your risks for developing cancer assessed as early as possible so you can take necessary steps to help prevent it.
Bladder control problems, though not life-threatening, are problems that some women may face after menopause. The body's drop in estrogen can cause bladder muscles to weaken, allowing urine to escape. Other medical conditions can also cause this urinary leakage, or incontinence. Your doctor can identify the precise cause of lost bladder control and suggest ways to help restore it.