The Effect of Menopause on your Body

By Sports/Muskuloskeletal Physiotherapist Sonam Jethwa

Menopause, is one such phase in women’s life wherein she undergoes changes physically, emotionally as well as physiologically.

Hormone Levels Fluctuate – Leading to Menopause

As you approach menopause, the production of ‘female’ hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) by the ovaries starts to slow down.
Hormone levels tend to fluctuate, and you may notice changes in your menstrual cycle such as:
  • period cycles may become longer, shorter or totally irregular
  • bleeding may become lighter
  • bleeding may become unpredictable and heavy (get advice from your doctor).

You’ve officially entered menopause when you have 12 missed periods in a row. This natural life stage typically starts around your mid-40s to mid-50s and can last for several years. 

 

WHAT THESE CHANGES LOOK LIKE

Physiotherapy During Menopause

There are varied symptoms of menopause and it is not the same for all women. What a physiotherapist does is analyse the effect of these symptoms on one’s body and advises on the ways of managing them.

Urinary incontinence: 

Urinary incontinence also known as overactive bladder is one of the most common effect of menopause which relates to the inability to control urine flow. This leakage occurs due to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Physiotherapy treatment includes pelvic floor exercises that aims at strengthening the pelvic muscles to reduce the urinary frequency or urgency.

 Osteoporosis: 

During menopause bones become weak with loss of tissue due to the hormonal changes in the body. Physiotherapy helps with exercises such as resistance training, weight training which will help strengthen the bone, in turn, increasing the bone density and help cope with the load.

 Obesity, insomnia and hot flushes:

Physiotherapy plays an important role in treating obesity, insomnia and hot flushes. A physiotherapy session includes aerobic exercises, stretches and therapeutic massages to control these symptoms and also improve quality of sleep. A combination of high-intensity interval training and weight training in case of obesity will aid with weight reduction.

 Muscle, Joint pains and aches: 

Physiotherapy offers specific exercises which aim at improving the muscle strength and control around the joints. This results in decreased load on the joints which in turn helps in reducing the pain. A physiotherapist after a comprehensive assessment can prescribe specific exercises aimed at strengthening and muscle relaxation.

How We Can Help!

If it’s the pelvic floor muscles that you think may need work, come in and see Sonam, one of our physiotherapists. She can address your symptoms (including bladder, bowel or heaviness), assess your function and formulate a tailored program to optimise your function in the long term.

Whether you are approaching, beyond or going through menopause, come in and chat with us today about how we can help.

 

Do it for you – life’s too short not to!

 

Book An Appointment

Come and have a chat with one of our physiotherapists to see if we can help improve your health. Book online or call the clinic on (03) 5232 2400.

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