Know your body
During the menopause, many health changes may take place, some of which may be related to the lower levels of oestrogen in your body, but many will also be due to natural ageing.
Many women may also have other underlying medical conditions, which may be affected by the menopause.
Click on a body part, or on the words below to discover more about the following conditions:
Sleep problemsLow mood/anxietySkin changes
Heart disease and strokeBreast cancer
Ovarian uterine cancer Contraception
Urinary problemsVaginal dryness
Osteoporosis Venous thromboembolism
Insomnia and sleep disturbances can be symptoms caused by the menopause. As different things such as stress or too much caffeine cause sleep disturbance, the solutions to resolving sleep problems can vary too.
Changes to hormones, such as during menopause, can also have an effect on your emotional and mental health.
The skin changes with normal ageing. Oestrogen decline during the menopause can also affect the skin. Less collagen and elastic fibers are produced.
Heart disease and stroke
Narrowing and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) is a major risk for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a strong risk factor for heart diseases and stroke.
Around 70% of women will have menopausal symptoms during and after treatment for breast cancer. Some treatments can cause an earlier menopause and significant menopausal symptoms.
Ovarian uterine cancer
Menopause does not cause cancer, but the risk of developing cancer increases as a woman ages. Therefore, women who have been through menopause are more likely to develop cancer because they are older.
It’s not always easy to confirm that the menopause has actually happened. Irregular periods and hot flushes are a sign that changes are taking place, but identifying the time of the actual menopause is not simple.
Your ovaries stop making oestrogen during the menopause transition. Without oestrogen, your vaginal tissue becomes less elastic. The lining of your urethra, the tube that empties urine from your bladder, begins to thin and may make you susceptible to urine leakage.
If you suffer from vaginal dryness, you are not alone. Vaginal dryness can affect any woman, at any age. However, after the menopause it is very common (more common than people think) – affecting over half of post-menopausal women aged between 51 and 60.
Osteoporosis is a condition of the bones. With osteoporosis, bones become thinner, weaker and can break easily.
When a blood clot which has formed in a vein, breaks loose and travels in the blood, this is called a venous thromboembolism (VTE).