Alternate Names : Change of Life, Climacteric
What are the treatments for the condition?
Menopause itself is not treated. Certain health problems,
such as osteoporosis
are linked to the loss of estrogen. To help prevent such problems,
many women take estrogen to replace what their body is no longer
able to produce. This treatment is called estrogen replacement therapy,
which is also called ERT, or hormone replacement therapy,
which is also called HRT.
The American Heart Association recently issued
recommendations about HRT in women. For women who have already
had a heart attack
or have heart disease,
it appears that HRT does not protect against having another heart attack
or dying from heart disease.
For women who have not already had a heart attack or
who do not have heart disease, HRT should not be started for the sole
purpose of preventing heart disease. In fact, a recent study has shown
that there is a slight increase in the risk for heart attack
in women who are on HRT.
Overall, the decision to use HRT should be based upon
the proven benefits and risks of HRT. A woman should discuss the
benefits and risks with her doctor. Together, they can
choose the best course of action.
Symptoms associated with menopause may also be
treated. During menopause, sexual intercourse may become painful,
a condition known as dyspareunia.
This condition is often caused by vaginal drying, and can result in a
decline in sexual interest. Creams are available to help with lubrication.
of the pelvic muscle can treat urinary leakage. Surgery or medicine
may also be used.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects to HRT
can include headaches,
bloating, vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, and
Recent studies have also linked HRT to an increased risk of heart attack,
stroke, and cancers of the breast,
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Most menopausal symptoms will go away once
How is the condition monitored?
A woman's progress through menopause is monitored
through regular Pap smears
and pelvic exams.
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.