Women’s health after 50 years

According to studies cited North American Menopause Society.

Eilber advises that while it’s not easy, it’s important to tell your partner and health care provider about this condition because it can be treated.

Solution: For some women, the trick is to use over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers. If not, talk to your doctor about different hormone therapies. Estrogen vaginal cream is safe for most women, Eilber says, and “may repair the lining of the vagina, which helps lubricate and maintain elasticity.”

5. Your sleep patterns are changing.

If you’ve already gone through menopause, you may know how hot flashes can wake you up from a deep, sweat-soaked sleep. But even after hot flashes subside, other hormonal changes and the rise in body temperature that occurs in middle age can affect the quality and duration of sleep, says Christine Daly, a psychologist and expert in sleep medicine who chairs the Clinical Practices Committee. Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

image counter Illustration of a cartoon woman who can't sleep.  And a cloud of thoughts that shows the turmoil of thoughts

Women over 50 often find it harder to sleep.

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You may wake up more often during the night or notice that you sleep less soundly. Plus, you don’t recover as easily from a bad night’s rest or time changes while traveling, Daley says.

“Bed time and circadian rhythms become more vulnerable to negative influences,” Daley says. “If you used to be able to sleep with the blinds open, then maybe you can’t do that anymore. We become extremely sensitive to the effects of light.”

Solution: Research shows that you can still enjoy a good night’s sleep if you stick to your sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day. Keep your room as dark as possible. And turn the thermostat down to 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. Daily exercise and exposure to bright light are also important factors, Daly says. (See 7 Expert Tips for Restful Sleep.)

6. Your bones become more fragile.

Starting around age 50, everyone begins to lose bone density. However, in women, menopause significantly accelerates bone loss. By some estimates, women lose up to 20% of their skeletal mass during menopause.

“The drop in estrogen levels directly affects the bones,” notes Rexrode.

This puts women at higher risk of osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and can lead to fractures. Osteoporosis affects about one in five women over 50 and only 1 in 20 men.

Solution: Weight-bearing exercises such as weight training, walking, hiking, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing can help strengthen bones. “These exercises change the building structures inside the bones, signaling them to stay strong,” says Rexrode. At the same time, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D, either from food or supplements. Ideally, you should take 1,200 milligrams of calcium and at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day. (Read “Strengthen Your Bones at Any Age.”)

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