When a woman has not had her menstrual period for an entire year, it means she is post-menopausal. Another way to find if you are post-menopausal is the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), a blood test. A hormone produced by the pituitary gland is known as FSH. This gland is located at the base of the brain. The hormone levels don’t fluctuate to the same extent that they do during post-menopausal.
Some of the common symptoms of post menopause are:
- Vaginal bleeding: It is a common problem and is usually caused by something minor like a thickened womb lining.
- Urinary incontinence: The loss of bladder control causes urinary incontinence.
- Weight gain: Women tend to gain weight gain during the post-menopausal hormone changes.
- Insomnia: Due to the changes of hormone levels, post-menopausal women find it difficult to fall asleep, and are unable to enjoy a night’s rest. Some post-menopausal women even experience hot flushes.
- Staying healthy: A healthy and balanced lifestyle is not the only thing you need during post-menopause;there are specific new requirements which need to be addressed as part of health.
Post-menopausal problems cannot be ignored or left unattended. One needs to take due care to see that the complications do not increase. There are three levels of Post menopause treatment available:
- Lifestyle changes: Healthy diet especially rich in calcium and other essential nutrients, reducing stress and exercising regularly.
- Alternative treatments: Combining herbal remedies i.e. Herbal massage, acupuncture etc can also give a positive impact on treating Post menopause.
- Prescription medications: This is amongst the most common treatment these days. It involves Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT is very effective with respect to relieving symptoms but it has its own risks and side effects.
Occurring around the age of 65, the post-menopausal period is an important part of a woman’s life. The geriatric phase is even more important as ageing is also one of the contributing factors. The changes in tissue due to ageing may cause difficulties while undergoing treatment procedures. The unique features of geriatric illnesses cause greater severity and may have slow recovery to no recovery. Thus, Geriatric gynecology focuses on screening and disease prevention and provides preventive health care, as caring for these women in later life should be an aim for all gynecologists. Geriatric Gynecology emphasizes on the urgent need for screening programmes for post-menopausal women. Geriatric gynecology provides care for osteoporosis, abnormal uterine post-menopausal bleeding, and issues related to estrogen replacement therapy and pelvic surgery.
In Geriatric Gynecology, some of the major disorders are Post-Menopausal Vaginal Bleeding (which may be even caused by cancer), Hormone replacement therapy, Pelvic organ prolapse and urogenital infection.
Post-menopausal Vaginal Bleeding
Post-menopausal Vaginal Bleeding after a period of no menses for at least 1 year in post-menopausal is common disorder and considered abnormal, during which unopposed estrogen stimulates the endometrium and the absence of progesterone results in unpredictable endometrial sloughing and vaginal bleeding, so further evaluation is required.
The main causes of Vaginal Bleeding are:
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment used to relieve the symptom of menopause where estrogen level falls. This can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and pain during sex.
Undergoing HRT may pose risk on several diseases like Breast cancer, Stroke, Bone fracture and endometrial cancer. Still the fact remains that HRT is not a treatment feasible for every women. You should not use HRT in any of the following conditions:
- When you think that you are pregnant
- When you are already having problem of vaginal bleeding
- In case of history of having had certain kinds of cancers
- In case of prior stroke or heart attack
- If you have had blood clots
- If you are suffering with some liver disease
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when pelvic organ drop from his normal position and pushes against the wall of vagina. This occurs due to muscles that hold the organs get weak or stretched. Organs include Bladder, Urethra, Uterus, Rectum and Vagina.
Some of the symptoms of POP are:
- Lower backache
- Painful intercourse
- Urinary problem
- Spotting from Vagina
Apart from above, for Geriatric patients, sleep disorder is common, sleep/ wake rhythm changes, way of thinking changes and even eating pattern become more varied. The aging process causes decrease in body weight, the muscle loses elasticity and blood pressure tends to increase, and they generally developed diabetes. Geriatric gynecology includes the following services – Infertility, General gynecologic health care, uro-gynecology, and contraception.
In future, geriatric gynecology will play an important role as elderly population is demographically expanding. It is suggested that establishment of geriatric clinics in the current primary health care system can centralize attention to menopausal women and their needs. The geriatric clinic is poised to meet these new challenges and provide opportunities to help patients live healthier lives.
For any Queries, Feel Free Contact our Gynecologist Specialist.