... an operate silently for decades. Some osteoporosis fractures may escape detection until years later. Patients may not thus be aware of their osteoporosis until suffering a painful fracture. The symptoms are then related to the location of the fractures. Heart disease Heart disease is the number one killer of women after menopause.

One out of two postmenopausal women will develop heart disease, and one out of three will die from it. Although the onset of heart disease in women lags behind the onset in men by about a decade, the occurrence of heart disease increases after menopause. Furthermore, there are actually more women than men who eventually die of heart disease. Being a female over the age of 55 is one of many risk factors for heart disease.

What are the treatment options for menopause? Treatments for menopause can be divided based on those symptoms that are present in a given woman at a specific time. Treatment of Early Onset Symptoms Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Prior to treatment, a doctor excludes other causes of erratic vaginal bleeding during the menopause transition (called the peri menopause). Women who have not yet completed their menopausal transition tend to have considerable breakthrough bleeding if they start the usual types of estrogen replacement therapy. Instead, oral contraceptives provide multiple benefits to women with peri menopausal bleeding; regularization of menstrual periods, contraception, and relief of hot flashes. Oral contraceptives are considered safe in healthy, non-smoking women. Hot Flashes Hot flashes can be treated with either oral (by mouth) or transdermal (patch) forms of estrogen.

Both oral and transdermal estrogen therapies are available either as estrogen alone, or estrogen combined with progesterone (see Medicine Net. com's Hormone Replacement Therapy article). All available prescription estrogen replacement therapies, whether oral or transdermal, are effective in reducing hot flash frequency and severity. Generally, available treatments decrease hot flash frequency by about 80 to 90%.

Mood Symptoms Scientists are currently evaluating which types of mood symptoms, such as irritability or tearfulness, are improved by estrogen replacement. Similarly, studies are underway to determine which symptoms are actually due to menopause versus other factors. Women may experience relief of irritability with oral estrogen replacement therapy. However, estrogen replacement therapy alone will not adequately treat a true medical depression, for example.

Accordingly, and for many reasons (including because treatments are different for menopause symptoms compared to depression), women who are experiencing significant mood symptoms should discuss them with a doctor to confirm that they are not symptoms of a medical depression or other problem. Treatment of Late Onset Symptoms Vaginal Symptoms Prior to being treated for vaginal irritation, burning, and itching, women should first undergo an evaluation by a doctor, including a pelvic exam, to verify that the symptoms are due to estrogen deficiency. There are local (meaning vaginal) and oral treatments for the symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency. Local treatments include the vaginal estrogen ring, vaginal estrogen cream, or vaginal estrogen tablets.

Oral treatments include multiple types of estrogen either alone, or estrogen given with progesterone (see MedicineNet. com's Hormone Replacement Therapy article). Local and oral estrogen treatments are both effective in relieving vaginal symptoms and are sometimes combined for this purpose. In women for whom oral or vaginal estrogens are deemed inappropriate, such as breast cancer survivors, or women who do not wish to take oral or vaginal estrogen, there are a variety of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants. However, they are probably not as effective in relieving vaginal symptoms as replacing the estrogen deficiency with oral or local estrogen. Osteoporosis The goal of osteoporosis treatment is the prevention of bone fractures by stopping bone loss and increasing bone density and strength.

Although early detection and timely treatment of osteoporosis can substantially decrease the risk of future fracture, none of the available treatments for osteoporosis are complete cures. In other words, it is difficult to completely rebuild bone that has been weakened by osteoporosis. Therefore, the prevention of osteoporosis is as important as treatment. Osteoporosis treatment and prevention measures are: . Lifestyle changes including quitting cigarette.

smoking, curtailing alcohol intake, exercising regularly, and consuming a balanced diet with adequate calcium and. vitamin D... Estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women and those with other low estrogen conditions... Medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength, such as (Fosamax), (Actonel), (Evista), and (Calcimar). Heart Disease There is much controversy regarding whether or how much oral estrogen replacement affects the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women. Research with a large enough number of women in well-designed studies is needed.

Additionally, we need to be able to separate out the effects of different types of estrogen preparations to get the answer. It seems so far that estrogen replacement may protect against heart disease in women who do not yet have heart disease, but may not be protective in women who are already known to have heart disease. In the near future, we will have more information from better-designed research studies regarding this issue. Menopause At A Glance. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases. The ovary, or female gonad, is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women...

The process of menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This so-called peri menopausal transition period is a different experience for each woman... The average age of menopause onset is 51 years old. There is no single method to predict when a woman will experience menopause...

The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is not related to the age of menopause onset... A women is in menopause when she has had no menstrual periods (menses) for 12 months and has no other medical reason for her menses to stop... Symptoms of menopause can be divided into early and late onset symptoms. Early symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, and mood changes. Late symptoms include vaginal dryness and irritation, osteoporosis, and heart disease... Treatments for menopause are directed toward alleviating the symptoms present in the particular woman affected.

HTML 1 DocumentEncodingutf-8 What is menopause? When does a woman know she is in menopause? Are hormone levels or other blood tests helpful in detecting menopause? What are the symptoms of menopause? ... Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding... Hot Flashes... Mood Symptoms... Vaginal Symptoms... Osteoporosis...

Heart disease What are the treatment options for menopause? ... Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding... Hot Flashes... Mood Symptoms... Vaginal Symptoms... Osteoporosis...

Heart Disease.