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I feel great in postmenopause! So what questions should I ask my doctor?

Isabel asks: I'm 58, postmenopause and I feel great! So what should I be speaking to my doctor about?

My reply: Thank you for writing…I absolutely love this question! I hope you find value in my response…and that you share this info with all your friends!

Menopause and midlife are an invitation for us to get curious about our health…and to make a plan for the next 3-5 decades. Here is a list of my top things for you to discuss with your health team (if you haven't already) so you can make the best health decisions for YOU!

  • Cardiovascular markers: Estrogen declines quite dramatically at menopause and this (among other things!) can impact our heart health. For many of us, it might be the first we are getting curious or having a conversation about heart health, personal risk factors and the specific numbers we all need to know (cholesterol and blood pressure for example.) This is important because every 22 minutes in Canada a woman dies prematurely of heart disease and many of those cases are preventable. Here's a great podcast about “knowing your numbers” with Dr. Alex Verge.

  • Bone health: We lose approximately 20% of our bone mass within the first 5-6 years of postmenopause, and current projections say that 1-in-3 of us will fall and break a bone due to osteoporosis. Hormone therapy is approved for the prevention of bone loss, so have an investigative conversation with your doctor about potential benefits for you. In addition, prioritize bone health by discussing what nutritional support (vitamin D, calcium, magnesium) would be best for you at this age and stage. And, if you are not already ① add strength & resistance training to your movement routine ② limit alcohol and ⓷ do not smoke.

  • Genitourinary health: “Genitourinary” is a term that encompasses the vulva, vagina, bladder and entire pelvic floor. This region of our body thrived on estrogen during our reproductive years and will surely miss it postmenopause. Prioritizing genitourinary and pelvic health means we have the opportunity to prevent and/or treat vulva & vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and chronic UTIs. My suggestions include ① Moisturize with hyaluronic acid ② ask about the benefits of vaginal estrogen for treatment of dryness and prevention of reoccurring UTIs and ⓷ add a pelvic floor physiotherapist (physical therapist is the term used in the USA) to your team!


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