Complications in Menopause

Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. After menopause the risk of certain medical conditions increases because of estrogen loss.

Updated: November 4, 2017

Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. After menopause the risk of certain medical conditions increases because of estrogen loss.
The possible complications include:

Urinary Tract Infections:

During menopause, urinary tract infections (UTIs) is very common. Lowered levels of estrogen and changes in the urinary tract make you more susceptible to infection.
A blood test can be done if you feel a persistent urge to urinate, are urinating more frequently, or feel a burning sensation when you urinate.

Frequent Urination or Urinary Incontinence:

It is common for women in menopause to lose control of their bladder. You may feel a constant need to urinate even without a full bladder, or experience painful urination. This happen because during menopause, the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins. The surrounding pelvic muscles may also weaken. Limit the intake of alcohol and stay hydrated to fight urinary incontinence.

Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disorder, characterized by thinning and weakening of the bone and a general decrease in bone mass and density. Usually old bone is replaced with new bone cells formed with the help of hormones. The body's ability to handle this process changes with age as the level of estrogen tend to decrease.
Estrogen is involved in the process of calcium absorption into the bones. Thus, due to the drop in estrogen levels, women will experience an accelerated reduction in bone density from perimenopause onward. By around age 35 there is less bone growth than there is bone removal. This disorder is called osteoporosis. Reduced bone density causes the bones more susceptible to breaks and fractures.

Digestive Problems:

Changes in gastrointestinal function, with symptoms such as excessive gas production, gastrointestinal cramping, and nausea is known as digestive disorder. This happens because hormonal imbalance disrupts the natural transit of food in the gut of menopausal women.  Stress has an adverse effect on the normal functioning of hormones. This can also be due to the decreasing production of the digestive hormone lactase with age which makes you lactose intolerance.

Burning Tongue:

Burning mouth syndrome is a complex, annoying condition in which a burning pain occurs on the tongue or lips, or throughout the whole mouth other symptoms such as bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.  In menopause, low estrogen levels damage the bitter taste buds in the mouth, setting off the surrounding pain neurons.

Joint Pain:

Estrogen helps prevent inflammation in the joints. Low levels of estrogen during menopause can increases inflammation resulting in joint pain. Early treatment can often bring about a cure and prevent the development of arthritis.

Cardiovascular Disease:

Estrogen levels drop steeply during menopause. This decline has been linked to irregular heart beat or heart palpitations which has a increased  risk of heart disease after menopause.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking and eating a heart-healthy diet filled with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, will be helpful in preventing heart problems.

Sexsual Dysfunction:

When estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. Usually moist and soft feeling of the lining of the vagina disappears resulting in vaginal dryness with symptoms of itchiness and irritation. Lack of lubrication leads to uncomfortable sex , and the vagina is frequently itchy, easily irritated, and more prone to infections.
Atrophy of the vagina is an extreme version of vaginal dryness in which the vagina becomes smaller in width and length. This symptom may appear due to a sudden drop in estrogen during menopause irrespective of the cause, whether it is natural, premature, or surgical.  It is important to seek treatment for this condition if it begins to affect quality of life.
Over-the-counter (OTC) lubricants or prescription treatments that include localized estrogen therapy, such as an estrogen cream or a vaginal ring, can treat the condition.


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