Menopause marks a significant point of transition in a woman’s life. This change can be frightening to many women concerned about what menopause may mean for their health. With menopause comes an increased risk of some very serious health concerns including heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Additionally, menopause can also have considerable effects on a woman’s sexual and reproductive health. To help shine a light on this subject, our board-certified gynecologists wanted to explain some of the ways that menopause can affect reproductive health and what can be done to address these symptoms.
Vaginal dryness is very common after menopause due to a significant decrease in the amount of estrogen produced by the body. This dryness can lead to vaginal itching as well as painful, unsatisfying sex that may reduce a woman’s interest in having intercourse. There are a number of intravaginal medications that can be used to treat vaginal dryness. Additionally, we perform FemTouch™ Non-Surgical Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation treatments to help women who experience vaginal dryness during or after menopause.
Urinary Tract Infections
There is also a connection between menopause and an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It’s natural for a woman’s bladder to begin to lose both volume and elasticity as she ages, leading to more frequent urination. This combined with a weakening of the vaginal walls and a thinning of the urethra can allow more bacteria to easily reach the bladder, leading to higher risk of UTIs. UTIs can often be treated with a course of oral antibiotics.
Additionally, this more frequent urination can contribute to different types of urinary incontinence. This can take the form of frequent, sudden urges to urinate, followed by involuntary loss of urine (urge incontinence), or the leakage of urine after coughing, laughing, or other physical activity. Depending on the type of incontinence, we offer several treatment options that can be helpful.
In our experience, the more knowledgeable and well-researched a woman is before menopause, the more prepared she will be to effectively manage their symptoms and successfully handle their transition. For more information on menopause or to schedule a consultation with our reproductive healthcare providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and updates on our upcoming health and wellness events.