Menopause is when you have your final period. Your periods stop because your ovaries don’t release eggs anymore.
Menopause can happen natural, at the expected age or early (average age 51). Your periods can also stop unexpectedly due to premature ovarian insufficiency, surgery or cancer treatment.
Perimenopause is the stage before menopause and can began 10 years prior to your last period. During this time, you might start experiencing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings.
As you move into perimenopause and menopause, low oestrogen levels can change your vulval, vaginal and bladder tissues. These changes may affect up to half of postmenopausal women.
About 20% of women have no symptoms at all, while 60% have mild to moderate symptoms. The remaining 20% have severe symptoms that interfere with their daily life.
How can physiotherapy help?
- You may start to experience symptoms of urgency, bladder leakage, recurrent urine infections (UTIs), increased frequency (during the day and/or overnight) or discomfort emptying your bladder
- Physiotherapy can assess and address bladder habits, pelvic floor muscles and vulvar tissue quality
- You may start to experience difficultly emptying your bowels, constipation, diarrhea, bowel leakage and/or pain with emptying
- Physiotherapy can assess and optimise bowel habits, emptying techniques, provide fibre & fluid advice and poo consistency
- You may start to experience symptoms of vaginal heaviness, dragging, feeling of a lump or a bulge in your vagina
- Physiotherapy can assess for prolapse and tailor treatment to what you need
- Due to declining oestrogen levels, vulvar tissues can become thin & dry and can increase pain with intimacy
- Physiotherapy can provide guidance on vaginal moisturizers, hygiene and lubricants and assess pelvic floor muscles
- We guide you through safe and evidence-based exercises that maintain healthy bone mass as well as work on balance and speed of movement