The menopause is a natural stage of any woman’s life, marking the end of the menstrual cycle. Known to cause a variety of unpleasant side effects, you may not realise that the symptoms can begin long before your periods end, and last way longer than you think.

After going through the menopause, you enter postmenopause. So, what exactly is postmenopause and what can you expect?

What is Postmenopause?

The menopause occurs in three different stages. First, you have the perimenopause which begins 8-10 years in the lead-up to the menopause. The menopause itself is diagnosed when you haven’t had a menstrual cycle for at least a year, and 12 months after that is when the final stage begins – postmenopause.

When you reach postmenopause, your hormone levels are consistently low. You won’t have any more periods and will no longer be able to fall pregnant. Due to the changes that occur within the body, you’ll also be at an increased risk of various conditions. These include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Changes in vaginal health
  • Depression and mental health issues

The increased risk of these conditions means you need to be extra-vigilant about your health.

Managing postmenopausal symptoms

As you enter postmenopause, you will continue to experience lingering side effects such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, dry skin, and mood swings. The good news is that in most cases these symptoms do start to become less intense.

If your symptoms have become more intense and they are impacting your daily life, you should seek advice from a medical professional. It could be that you have an underlying health condition that needs to be treated.

Hormone therapy medications can help to ease side effects of postmenopause. However, they do tend to cause their own side effects. Another option is to make healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. There is some evidence to suggest a plant-based diet can help ease the symptoms as they are natural sources of oestrogen.

If you are struggling to manage the symptoms by yourself, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. There are lots of treatment options available to help.

Book a menopause health check

Due to the increased health risk posed by postmenopause, having a regular menopause health check is important. It is recommended you undergo a check-up every year to monitor your health and ensure there are no underlying issues.

When you book a menopause health check with SureScan, you will first undergo a consultation with an expert consultant gynaecologist. A number of tests and examinations will be carried out, such as a blood pressure check, and an abdominal examination. This check can help to put your mind at ease, as well as protect you against the health complications associated with postmenopause.