With all that is said about hormone replacement therapy during perimenopause into menopause, most women do not realize or understand how important it is to care for their health post-menopause.
Post-menopause, by definition, is the time beyond actual menopause. In other words, once you reach actual menopause – 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle – the subsequent time after that is called post (or after) menopause.
One of the hallmarks of perimenopause, the time of transition leading up to actual menopause, is fluctuating levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
By the time a woman reaches actual menopause, her body is no longer producing enough estrogen to support regular monthly menstrual cycles.
While this is good news to most women – because, let’s face it, not having to cope with monthly periods and all of the discomfort that often accompanies them is always good news – low estrogen levels put us at risk for other health problems.
Osteoporosis and Post Menopause
One of the more serious health issues facing post-menopausal women is osteoporosis, the thinning and loss of bone tissue and bone mineral density.
Prior to menopause, our body is constantly building and rebuilding bone through a process called deposition and resorption. Up until the age of 30, this process is hearty and our body makes considerably more bone than it breaks down.
Once we reach post-menopause, however, the body actually begins to break down more bone than it is building. In fact, some post-menopausal women actually lose as much as 20 percent of their bone mass – certainly not good news for any of us.
In order to maintain good bone health and avoid osteoporosis, women must not only eat a diet rich in bone health minerals such as calcium, but they must also engage in types of exercise that encourage bone growth and strength.