Postmenopause describes the period after menopause. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our specialists are passionate about helping you understand the changes you can expect during this stage of life and help minimize uncomfortable symptoms.
What is Postmenopause?
Postmenopause is defined as the period after you have been without a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. Once postmenopause occurs, you are considered in the postmenopausal stage for the rest of your life.
Menopause vs. postmenopause
The menopause stage of life occurs naturally. As women age, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle and ends the reproductive years.
Once you have gone through menopause and have not had your period for 12 consecutive months, the postmenopause stage begins, and you are in this stage for the rest of your life. For most women, this stage usually begins between 40 and 58.
Signs & Symptoms of Postmenopause
What signals the end of menopause and triggers postmenopausal symptoms varies depending on the severity of symptoms experienced during menopause. After menopause, most may feel lingering postmenopausal symptoms, such as:
- Emotional changes, including depression and mood fluctuations
- Cognitive decline (memory problems)
- Decreased libido (sex drive)
- Difficulty sleeping, including insomnia (trouble falling asleep, waking up, and going back to sleep)
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes, including night sweats
- Postmenopausal bleeding (irregular periods)
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Some patients may experience emotional changes or memory decline, although rare
Postmenopausal treatment plan
Menopause is a significant event in life and can be more serious for some than others. The physiological changes during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause have lasting effects. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our gynecologists will help you develop a personalized treatment plan to minimize symptoms and improve overall health.
Complications of Postmenopause
Postmenopause presents an opportunity for women to initiate strategies to prevent the risk of complications, including potential chronic disease, such as:
- Anemia and other vitamin or health and wellbeing deficiencies
- Cancer (Breast cancer and other gynecologic cancers)
- Diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance
- Heart disease (and vascular or blood vessel disease)
- Mental health issues including depression and dementia
- Thyroid disorders
- Urinary incontinence
- Uterine fibroids
- Cognitive or memory changes
Get Postmenopausal Care from NewYork-Presbyterian
At NewYork-Presbyterian, we offer comprehensive and advanced treatment for patients in all stages of menopause. Our gynecologists collaborate with specialists in cardiology, endocrinology, psychiatry, neurology, sleep medicine, and nutrition. This helps us to provide coordinated care to address all of your individual needs and the risks associated with postmenopause.
If you’re experiencing postmenopause symptoms, contact us to make an appointment at a location near you.