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What Is The Difference Between Menopause And Postmenopause

Changes In Vaginal Discharge And Dryness

Difference between perimenopause, menopause & post menopause – Dr. Sheela B S

Many people experience changes in vaginal discharge or increased dryness in and around the genitals postmenopause. These symptoms may stem from vaginal atrophy, a condition where the vaginal walls become narrower.

Vaginal atrophy affects of people before menopause and 4057% after menopause. Common symptoms of vaginal atrophy include:

  • vaginal dryness
  • a yellow-tinged vaginal discharge
  • spotting or bleeding

Vaginal discharge may also become less frequent postmenopause, which may increase the risk of painful intercourse. NAMS say this decrease in natural vaginal discharge results from a sharp dip in estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for healthy discharge and natural lubrication.

How Often Do I Need To See My Doctor After Menopause

You should still see your healthcare provider for routine gynecological care even though you aren’t menstruating. This includes Pap tests, pelvic exams, breast exams and mammograms. You should continue to schedule annual wellness appointments. Since you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, providers usually recommend bone density screenings as well. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine how often you should make check-up appointments based on your health history.

Treatment For Menopause Perimenopause And Postmenopause

Menopause is a natural part of each womans aging process. It isnt something that typically requires medical treatment. However, if the symptoms of menopause, perimenopause or postmenopause significantly interfere with your life, talk to your Baptist Health provider. Your doctor may offer dietary, exercise and lifestyle suggestions to help make the transition a bit easier. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend hormone replacement therapy . However, HRT is not the common menopause treatment option it was in the 1980s and 90s. Talk to your Baptist Health provider about how HRT could affect your heart health and breast or reproductive cancer risks.

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How Are Menopause Perimenopause And Postmenopause Diagnosed

Your monthly period may give you the most direct information about where you are in the menopausal process. If your periods are more sporadic than they used to be, or lighter or heavier than before, you may be perimenopausal. Once youve gone a whole year without a period , youre officially considered to be in menopause. Postmenopause is the term used to describe the phase youre in from the onset of menopause to the end of your life. Your Baptist Health provider can also do a simple blood test, called a follicle-stimulating hormone test, to help determine if youre menopausal. However, this test isnt always conclusive. Most womens hormone levels go up and down throughout perimenopause. This can make the FSH test somewhat unreliable.

Main Differences Between Menopause And Post Menopause

Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause ...
  • Menopause is the period of a womans life when menstruation ceases, whereas Postmenopause is the period that follows menopause.
  • Menopause normally begins between the ages of 45 and 50 years old, whereas on average, postmenopause occurs at the age of 55, however, this varies depending on when menopause finishes.
  • During menopause, levels of estrogen, progesterone, and FSH fall and vary. Postmenopause, on the other hand, sees the same hormones at very low, but steady, levels.
  • During menopause, the uterus begins to shrink, whereas by the time postmenopause occurs, the uterus is relatively tiny.
  • Menopause can continue anywhere from seven to ten years, while postmenopause lasts the rest of a womans life.
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    Are Menopausal Women Specifically More At Risk For The Coronavirus

    According to gynecologist Barb DePree, MD, COVID-19 is not likely to be a significant additional risk to menopausal women per se, but menopause is a time women begin to have increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, once they lose the protective effects of estrogen. These co-morbidities definitely increase risk for women who may contract COVID-19.

    In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says age, heart disease, and diabetes can all increase your chance of being severely ill with the Coronavirus. More so, weight gain, which may be caused by menopause, can also complicate matters.

    Frustratingly, for women in menopause, a decrease in estrogen could potentially cause increased vulnerability to severe symptoms. There is some investigational research data suggesting estrogen may be somewhat protective for women exposed to the Coronavirus, Dr. DePree says.

    Menopause itself can therefore impact immunity, says Dr. DePree. Immunity is a complex issue that is impacted by multiple factors some of which we control, and some less so, she says. The hormone estrogen is shown to have a protective role in women, so women who are not on hormone therapy during menopause might be more at-risk than those without a decline in estrogen.

    Menopause is also linked to cancer risk, as well as a decrease in T-cells, the immune systems cells that work to fight off cancer cells and foreign invaders, and which bolster the immune response in general.

    When Does Perimenopause Start

    On average, women have perimenopausal symptoms for about four years before they stop menstruating however for some, this period may be much shorter or much longer.

    The average age for the menopause in the UK is 51, so many women will start to experience perimenopausal symptoms around the age of 47.

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    At What Age Does The Climacteric Arrive

    The climacteric is a complete cycle from when the woman begins to produce fewer eggs until she stops generating them completely, therefore it encompasses the premenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal periods. It is a transitional period in the life of an adult woman. The climacteric can start sooner or later, but it is usually in the 40s , beginning with premenopause.

    If you are a woman in your 45s or older, you may be experiencing certain body or organic changes that are confusing you. But it has an explanation and it is called premenopause . It is the first stage of climacteric and from then on your body will begin to change until menopause. During this first stage of climacteric, the ovaries stop producing eggs and, therefore, estrogens and progesterone , the female hormones , also .

    In this first stage, we will know that the climacteric has begun because the decrease in hormones will cause irregular or scarce menstruation, even if there are still them. It may go away for a few months and reappear. The moment that menstruation completely disappears, it means that menopause has arrived. In the following article we show in more detail what are the symptoms and treatments for premenopause .

    After this period comes menopause, which we will see below, and it is the next phase. And after menopause, postmenopause occurs, which is also part of the climacteric. During this last stage there are symptoms very similar to menopause but much milder.

    What Causes Postmenopausal Bleeding

    What’s The Difference Between Perimenopause And Menopause?

    Vaginal bleeding during postmenopause isn’t a normal side effect of decreasing hormone levels. In some cases, the dryness in your vagina could cause some light bleeding or spotting after sex. In other cases, it could indicate a condition like endometrial hyperplasia or uterine fibroids, infections like endometritis, or cancer. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any vaginal bleeding so you can be evaluated.

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    Sexual Wellbeing And Intimacy

    All women experience menopause differently, and many women experience changes in their sex life as they go through the menopause. You may have heard about menopause impacting womens libido or sexual desire.

    Some women may experience problems during sex due to vaginal dryness and loss of elasticity. This can cause discomfort and slight bleeding during or after penetrative sex.

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    Pros & Cons Of Replacing Hormones

    Since menopause is caused by a decrease in estrogen and progesterone, why not just replace them and continue on? Hormone replacement therapy is an option for many women who wish to combat the health risks that increase during their postmenopausal years. But this therapy may have its own risks.

    Benefits: Estrogen therapy may relieve hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and protect against bone loss.

    Risks: Estrogen-only therapy may increase your risk of breast and uterine cancer, stroke, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis. Combine hormone therapy could cause an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and gallbladder disease.

    Talk to your doctor about the right approach to managing your health changes after menopause.

    What You Can Do To Stay Healthy Postmenopause

    Difference Between Menopause and Postmenopause ...

    Its never been more important to take a proactive role in your health care. Many women suffer unnecessarily from symptoms that can be managed with prescribed treatments or home remedies. Talk to your doctor before you begin taking any new supplement or treatment, including over-the-counter and herbal remedies.

    Aside from hormone therapy some of the most common postmenopausal treatments include:

    • Hormone therapy: Helps reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and may prevent bone loss.
    • Vaginal estrogen: Relieves vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, and some urinary symptoms.
    • Calcium and vitamin D supplements or other osteoporosis treatments: Aids in strengthening bones.
    • Vaginal lubricants: Increases comfort during sex.
    • Incontinence treatments: Various lifestyle changes and medical options for gaining bladder control.
    • Exercise: Stimulates heart and bone health and maintains healthy weight.
    • Diet: Helps manage healthy weight.

    Postmenopausal health is about a lot more than your ovaries and uterus. Keep up with annual physical exams and schedule those regular preventive screenings, such as mammogram, bone density screening, Pap smear, mole checks, and colonoscopy. Remember your teeth and gums and your eyes, too. Theres never been a better time to focus on your own well-being.

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    What Is The Difference Between Menopause And Perimenopause

    Most women feel a multitude of emotions about menopause. Many are naturally curious about the process and often have a number of questions, including: What is menopause? What is perimenopause? What is the difference between menopause and perimenopause?

    Continue reading to learn about three three stages of menopause, including key distinctions between the first two phases perimenopause and menopause.

    How Can I Find A Menopause Specialist Practitioner Or Health Care Provider

    Besides asking a referral from your family physician, you can visit the site of the North American Menopause Society. They have a search feature on their website that can help those women in Canada or the United States who are looking for a healthcare expert regarding perimenopause or menopause. Healthcare specialists who have passed a competency examination and have a credential of NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner will show up in the results. These experts are highly interested in helping women maintain and manage health through menopause and even beyond.

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    What Does Perimenopause Mean

    Perimenopause means around menopause. It refers to the transitional time during which your hormone levels change, but before you stop having periods. Until your periods stop completely, any menopausal symptoms you experience can be described as perimenopausal.

    Youll have reached the menopause when you havent had a period for 12 months.

    Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Postmenopause

    What is Post Menopause?

    People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for several conditions:

    Cardiovascular disease

    Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart disease and stroke. It is also common for people in postmenopause to become more sedentary, which contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors combined can increase a womans risk for cardiovascular diseases after menopause. A healthy diet, not smoking and getting regular exercise are your best options to prevent heart disease. Treating elevated blood pressure and diabetes as well as maintaining cholesterol levels are also ways to lower your risk.


    People lose bone more rapidly after menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen. You may lose up to 25% of your bone density after menopause . When too much bone is lost, it increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are most commonly affected. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, can be done to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.

    Vaginal atrophy

    Mental health issues

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    Does Ethnicity Affect Perimenopause And Menopause

    The Study of Womens Health Across the Nation, is designed to better understand the health of women during midlife. It examines women of all ethnicities and backgrounds between the ages of 40 and 55.

    Results show that the symptoms of perimenopause differ among these groups of women. For example, Chinese and Japanese women have less severe symptoms. Most frequently, African American women experience hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and forgetfulness. Hispanic women report the most urine leakage and vaginal dryness and suffer the highest increase in heart rate.

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    A 2008 study that was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that Latinas and Native Americans experience the earliest onset of perimenopause. On the other hand, women of Japanese descent experience this transition later. Since this transitional phase sees a drop in oestrogen, later onset means better health in the long-term, especially for the bones, brain, and heart.

    In 2009, a study of 150 women uncovered what ethnicities experienced the most symptoms. It was found that Asian females have the least amount of symptoms. On the opposite end of the spectrum, African American women have the most.

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    When Should I Call My Doctor

    If any of your postmenopause symptoms bother you or prevent you from living your daily life, contact your healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment. They can confirm you have completed menopause and are in postmenopause.

    Some questions you might ask are:

    • Are these symptoms normal for people in postmenopause?
    • Is there treatment for my symptoms?
    • Is hormone therapy still an option?
    • What can I do to feel better?

    If you experience any vaginal bleeding during postmenopause, contact your healthcare provider to rule out a serious medical condition.

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    What Are Other Online Sources I Can Utilize To Know More About Premenopause Perimenopause Or Menopause

    If you want to do more reading about these events in womens lives, you can visit the following external links:

      • Canadian Menopause Society
      • National Center for Biotechnology Information
      • North American Menopause Society
      • Office of Womens Health
      • The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada
      • The International Menopause Society

    Review Of Indian Literature On Postmenopausal Syndrome

    Postmenopause Information

    The average age of menopause in India is 47.5 years, with an average life expectancy of 71 years. Therefore, Indian women are likely to spend almost 23.5 years in menopause .

    About 3540% women between 40 and 65 years have been diagnosed to suffer from osteopenia and 830% suffer from osteoporosis. All women over 65 years have been found to suffer from osteopenia or osteoporosis .

    A study which analyzed a sample consisting of menopausal, premenopausal and postmenopausal women in the age range of 3550 years using a two-stage screening procedure for identifying and screening psychiatric morbidity General Health Questionnaire and Standard Psychiatric Interview, found highest psychiatric co-morbidity in the menopausal group, in terms of age maximum number of cases with psychiatric co-morbidity were from 41 to 45 years. Menopausal women suffered more symptoms of menopause as well as psychiatric symptoms as compared to premenopausal women. Both set of symptoms was found to be less in the postmenopause group also. The most common reported symptoms in the group were depression, depressive thoughts, anxiety, and excessive concern about bodily functions. Supporting the findings of the earlier study the predominant symptom in menopausal women was depression.

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    Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

    Another routine youll want to adopt? A healthy bedtime. When women go into menopause and their hormones are out of balance, they may have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, Dr. Richardson says. Study after study shows that sleep really helps your metabolism, so not getting the right amount and type of sleep can really affect your ability to lose or maintain weight as you age and in times of stress.

    Get into bed early, aim for seven hours, and make your bedroom a place where you can achieve undisturbed sleep, if possible. She recommends taking L-theanine in the evening to calm you down and achieve deep sleep, but check with your doctor first. Try to think of your bedtime as a respite from the daily anxiety of a global pandemic.


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