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There are many emotional and physical changes that happen midlife. Just as in adolescence or during pregnancy, your body is adjusting to different levels of hormones which can result in a range of women’s health issues. Women’s Health Connecticut is committed to helping you find a knowledgeable and understanding specialist who will hear your concerns about your gynecological health and care after menopause.
Your Women’s Health Connecticut provider can help you with these common midlife concerns:
The average age a woman experiences menopause is 51, but generally it may occur as early as 40 or as late as 55. Hot flashes, the most common of menopausal symptoms, are sudden feelings of heat that spread over the body, often accompanied by a flushed face and sweating. These uncomfortable sensations are the body’s response to declining estrogen. While these symptoms are disruptive, and are usually temporary, they can last an average of seven years, and may never completely resolve. Your Women’s Health Connecticut Provider can help you find a solution that’s right for you.
Postmenopausal bleeding is characterized by any vaginal bleeding after you have stopped getting your period for at least one year. This happens to many women, but you should always see a gynecologist if you develop any postmenopausal bleeding to rule out the risk of cancer.
The most common cause of postmenopausal bleeding is inflammation of the lining of the uterus or vagina. Evaluations of postmenopausal bleeding include an examination and often an ultrasound. Additional testing may include a biopsy of the endometrial lining, a hysteroscopy to take a close look at the uterus, and dilation and curettage (D&C). Treatment may include topical hormone replacement, hysteroscopy or even a hysterectomy.
Urinary tract and bladder health
During menopause, the lining of the bladder responds to lower estrogen levels by becoming thinner and more easily irritated. This means that some women will experience bladder infections. If symptoms such as painful or overly frequent urination occur, consult with your provider. Infections can usually be treated with antibiotics.
Women going through menopause can also experience physical changes which can contribute to bladder control problems, including:
- Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, which makes it difficult to prevent urine leaks
- Thinning of the lining of the bladder and urethra, which can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom (frequency) or unusually urgent needs to urinate (urgency); and
- Decreased responsiveness of the bladder and urethra to nerves and hormones, which can make it difficult to control the urge to urinate.
If you are having bladder control problems, Women’s Health Connecticut makes it easy to find a urogynecologist who can help with therapies including prescription medicines and pelvic floor muscle exercises.
Sexual dysfunction and vaginal dryness
When estrogen levels decline during menopause, vaginal tissues produce less lubrication. This can cause sex to become uncomfortable or painful. During midlife, the vaginal walls also become thinner and more vulnerable. This may be treatable with local vaginal estrogens which do not affect the rest of the body. Though it can be an embarrassing topic, don’t hesitate to discuss these issues with your Women’s Health Connecticut provider. Every woman deserves to have a fulfilling intimate life at any age, and a variety of treatments are available that can help.