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Tips for staying healthy after menopause

Two women smiling as they pose for a photo - How menopause can affect your health
Painful or heavy cycles, endometriosis and fibroids are no longer problems after menopause, but risk for other medical conditions increases.

It’s no secret menopause changes women’s bodies.

Symptoms of perimenopause like menstrual cycle changes, hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes and fatigue are well known. These symptoms may last more than five years until menopause – the time when a woman experiences a full year without a period. The average age of U.S. women at the time of menopause is 51.

Physical changes that continue after menopause and increase risk for certain health conditions and cancers mean it may be time to make lifestyle changes to maintain your health.

Adapt to physical changes

Weight gain is a common concern after menopause.

“Your metabolism slows down with menopause, so you’ll need to modify your diet and activity,” said Dr. Melissa Emmerich, a Marshfield Clinic OB-GYN physician. “You’ll need more activity throughout the day and fewer carbohydrates in your diet.”

Generalized skin dryness and loss of elasticity tends to worsen the longer you’ve been menopausal. Use moisturizing body and facial lotions with SPF 30 to combat dry skin. Over-the-counter lubricants and prescription estrogen medication can help with vaginal dryness.

Manage disease risk

Your risk for certain medical conditions increases after menopause and as you age.

Estrogen has a protective effect on bone density. After menopause, your body produces less estrogen and your risk for osteoporosis increases. Reduce your risk by getting 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D per day. Use supplements if you don’t get enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Women have lower heart disease risk than men earlier in life but catch up to men after menopause. Maintain a healthy weight, control diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol and find healthy ways to cope with stress to reduce your chance of developing heart disease.

Risk for breast and ovarian cancers increases as women age. Continue getting mammograms after menopause, as well as other health screenings your doctor recommends.

Positive side of menopause

Menopause can be a good thing for many women, despite its bad reputation.

“Menopause means relief from menstrual pain and gynecologic disorders women experienced when they were younger,” Emmerich said. “Problems like painful or heavy cycles, endometriosis and fibroids go away.”

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5 responses to “Tips for staying healthy after menopause”

  1. Annette

    As with many of your articles, I am not able to Pin this because Pinterest believes the link leads to inappropriate content. Is there any way to fix this?

    1. Kirsten Shakal, Shine365 Editor

      Hi, Annette. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We were not aware users were having trouble with Pinterest related to our site; our apologies for the inconvenience this has caused you.

      I've shared your comment with our developers. I will update you once I know more.


  2. Lindsie

    And you don't have to carry a purse full of tampons etc. or worry about getting surprised by that time of the month, especially when your enjoying outdoor activities. Soooo many pluses!

  3. Nancy Meyer

    One benefit of menopause that's never mentioned is that you no longer have to worry about pregnancy.

    1. Ginna

      Great answer, I was unable to bear children so I hadn't though of that. I only thought of NEVER having a painful period again!!!!

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