By Lana MacDonald, PT
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a point 12 months after a women’s last period. The period leading up to that period is called the peri-menopause period and can last up to 15 years. The average age women reach menopause world wide is 51 but can range between 45 and 55 years of age on average. It will happen naturally or can be triggered by surgery such as an hysterectomy & the removal of the ovaries.
What Happens during Menopause?
The ovaries stop producing estrogen and women start experiencing the effects of reduction in the hormones, estrogen & progesterone. Menstrual periods become irregular and women can experience a variety of symptoms that can vary from woman to woman. It is the drop in estrogen that may cause some or all of the symptoms below.
Common Symptoms that MAY occur during menopause?
Breast tenderness, fatigue/sleep issues, irregular/disappearing menstrual cycles, changes in mood/anxiety/depression, headaches, hot flashes & night sweats, frequent UTIs, bone loss, vaginal atrophy.
You are NOT alone!
We all experience some of these symptoms but knowing there is help and support out there to help you manage and get through this natural stage in a women’s life should be reassuring. Some of the professionals that may be included in your care when it comes to menopause can include: Family Physician, Nurse Practitioner, referral to a Gynecologist, Social Worker/Councillor, Dietition/Naturopath/Nutritionist, Pharmacist, and a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
How can a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist help Peri & Menopausal Women?
They are a good profressi9onal to see if you are experiencing urinary incontinence (stress or urgency), Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Vaginal Dryness, Pain with Sexual Intercourse, Increased Urinary Frequency. Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are trained to perform internal pelvic exams if necessary to teach women how to properly train their pelvic floor muscles and improve pelvic floor muscle tone during peri and final menopausal phases in a women’s life.
“Our mothers were largely silent about what happened to them as they passed through this midlife change. But a new generation of women has already started to break the wall of silence.” – Trisha Posner
Reactive Health has 2 registered Pelvic Health Physiotherapists on staff located at our Stratford & Charlottetown (Euston Street) clinic.