Menopause will impact woman's partner. Agueda Hernández, Medical doctor at Baptist Health Primary Care, says as women go through menopause there can be changes in their sexual functioning, for example. For menopausal women sex can become painful due to dryness, so it is important that their spouses are aware and they have open communication.
There are other health effects after menopause. Agueda Hernández, Medical doctor at Baptist Health Primary Care, says cardiovascular risks increase for women after menopause. Osteoporosis, cholesterol and cardiovascular issues are the main key risks for women. The doctor recommends having a bone density exam for men who have had a fracture.
Hot flashes at night are signs of menopause in women. Agueda Hernández, Medical doctor at Baptist Health Primary Care, says it is important for doctors to make sure nothing else is going on, because they can be symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, for example. It is needed to assess the patient's risk of being on hormone replacement therapy and if there is no contraindication, this treatment tends to be the most effective at controlling these symptoms. Hernández explains doctors don't advice hormone replacement for women with gynecologic cancer or those who have had it in the past.
Menopause is a natural biological process in women, it is important to know it is not an illness. Agueda Hernández, Medical doctor at Baptist Health Primary Care, says menopause marks the end of a woman's fertility. "Women are born with a set number of eggs that are depleted over the course of their lives", explains Hernández. This process occurs gradually, women go into menopause at 51, in most cases. Some of the symptoms are change in period, trouble getting a good night sleep and mood changes, among others.
Low bone density can place a person at risk of suffering from osteoporosis. Agueda Hernández, Medical doctor at Baptist Health Primary Care, defines the illness as thinning of the bone. "After menopause, bone loss accelerates greatly", she says. Some steps to improve bone health are the following: calcium and vitamin D, weight bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises, and to take an osteoporosis medication.