Menopause marks the end of the reproductive hormone cycle, which occurs when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months. Prior to this stage, known as post-menopause, there is a period of time called peri-menopause, during which the production of oestrogen and progesterone gradually decreases. Women typically transition from regular monthly menstruation to more frequent heavy bleeding, followed by infrequent light bleeding and eventually no menstruation.
The decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels during this time has a significant impact on multiple bodily systems, including the reproductive, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems, as well as cognition. Some effects of this hormonal shift include:
Reduced muscle strength and mass
Changes in cognition & memory
Reduced bone mineral density
Increased risk of atherosclerosis and reduced vascular health
Vaginal tissue changes. During menopause, the vaginal tissue becomes thinner, drier, and less elastic due to the reduced levels of estrogen. This can cause symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and pain during intercourse.
Symptoms of Pelvic organ prolapse
Changes to bladder function - increased urgency/frequency and incontinence
So, how can Women's Health Physiotherapy help as your body experiences changes of menopause?
We provide you with a thorough and individualised management plan, which generally involves pelvic health advice and training of muscles and sometimes recommendations to discuss with a GP
Identify, through a pelvic health assessment prolapse risk, causes of pelvic health concerns and appropriate load and exercise suitable to your pelvic health
We provide preventative exercise program and planning to ensure that your cardiovascular system, bone health, mood and pelvic health are being looked after in the long-term and to ensure you can maintain all of your health goals.
Keep in mind, menopause is different for each female. We are all unique, so we have to expect a unique management plan for each individual, and your Women's Health Physio will guide you through this.