Menopause

Menopause Complications And Effects

With the onset of menopause, the changing hormone levels, in particular oestrogen, that characterise the menopause can lead to a number of complications later in life. The menopause complications in women include

Osteoporosis

This is a “bone-thinning” disease that makes you vulnerable to painful and potentially dangerous fractures.

Urogenital Problems

A woman going through menopause may experience sexual problems, incontinence and urinary tract infections during perimenopausal phase. However, unlike most other menopausal symptoms, these urogenital complications after menopause may become more long-term health problems after the onset of the menopause and therefore need to be managed.

Cardiovascular Disease

Postmenopausal complications include an increased risk of serious heart problems. The risks of suffering from heart problems , angina, heart attacks and stroke increase with the onset of menopause. A menopausal woman is also more likely to suffer from high cholesterol levels and the build-up of LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) can narrow and clog your arteries and thereby increase her risk of cardiovascular disease.

Obesity

Going through menopause alters the way in which your body stores fat. Prior to the menopause, women generally store excess fat around the hips and thighs, leading to the much dreaded “pear-shaped” figure.

However, after menopause, more fat becomes stored around the waist and abdomen, leading to an “apple-shaped” figure. This body shape is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes menopause complications and certain cancers such as breast cancer.

Dementia

The association between menopause and memory loss is not entirely clear, but it appears that female hormones play some role in normal brain function. Although dementia does not affect women until they are postmenopausal, the onset of menopause may have a role in the deterioration of memory.

Not all women experience the above female menopause symptoms, but if you know that you are particularly at risk of any of these conditions, because of your family history or other pre-existing, you should consult your doctor.

If your doctor considers you to be at increased risk, he or she will advise you on changes that you should make to your lifestyle or prescribe you menopause treatments to try and prevent these menopause complications and effects from occurring.