Menopause

Menopause itself refers to the date when you had your last period, determined retroactively after you have not had a period/menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. It is more accurate to describe yourself as being either peri-menopausal (irregular periods or last period was less than 12 months ago) or postmenopausal (haven’t had a period in more than one year).

Perimenopause occurs when your hormones start fluctuating, your periods start to change or become irregular and are accompanied by the symptoms of peri-menopause that most women have heard about – hot flashes, undesired hair growth, fatigue. This usually starts happening between 40-55 years of age,  and can last for 6-8 years.

During peri-menopause and continuing post-menopause, hormones also impact the vaginal tissues, with vaginal dryness and thinning can become a concern. This is called vaginal atrophy. Concerns that can happen at any time of life such as incontinence (bladder leaking), pain with sex and pelvic organ prolapse (feeling heaviness or bulging in the vagina) can become symptomatic or become worse during peri and post menopause. These changes and symptoms can impact how women feel about their sexual health, and historically these topics (sex, leaking, vaginas in general) were not discussed socially or even medically. This is where Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can come into play – your pelvic health is our specialty!

Mythbuster: Regardless of what pad commercials would have you believe, women who are peri-menopausal or post menopausal CAN still enjoy optimal pelvic health including bladder control, prolapse management and sexual comfort and satisfaction.

How Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help:

  • access and address factors contributing to urinary incontinence 

  • look at conservative ways to manage pelvic organ prolapse, including the option for pessaries

  • access and discuss treatment options for vaginal tissue changes and pain/changes with sexual activity

  • explore lifestyle factors and treatment options that can optimize your pelvic and hormone health, including appropriate referrals to other health professionals
     

What you can do now:

  • support your hormone health and general health by looking at The Five Pillars of Health

  • learn more about peri and post menopause influences on sexual health http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife

  • seek help from a Naturopathic Doctor who can advise regarding different food and supplement options that will support hormone and general health

  • ask your doctor about hormone therapy options, depending on the level of intervention you are interested in

  • don’t hesitate to reach out to a counsellor or therapist to help address stress,anxiety, depression and sexual role/desire changes that can happen during this stage of life and have a close relationship with hormone fluctuations

  • check out the Society of OBGYN Canada website for more information and resources: https://www.menopauseandu.ca/resources/

DISCLAIMER:  The information on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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