Key Points for Postmenopausal Women
Menopause (when periods stop) commonly happens around the age of 50. However, some women stop having menstrual periods at an earlier age. Menopause may happen naturally or can happen as a result of surgery (removal of the both ovaries).
A hormone called estrogen helps keep menstrual periods regular and protect bones, too. In the premenopausal years, hormonal balance and regular periods are important for healthy bones. When women go through menopause, estrogen levels lower which can increase the risk for bone loss and osteoporosis.
All postmenopausal women should speak to their healthcare provider about bone health. It is important to:
- Ask for a height measurement as part of your routine health examination
- Use the NYSOPEP Risk Assessment Tool for Postmenopausal Women to help you find out about and
discuss your risk factors for osteoporosis
- Discuss how your medical conditions and the medications you take affect your bone health
- Find out when the right time is for you to have a BMD test
A BMD test is recommended for the following postmenopausal women:
- All women aged 60 or older, regardless of risk factors.
- Women under age 60 who have reached menopause and have one or more risk factor(s) for osteoporosis.
Many lifestyle factors can increase the risk for osteoporosis. These include eating a nutrient- poor diet especially if it is low in calcium, low vitamin D intake, getting too little physical activity, smoking, and drinking excessive alcoholic beverages.
Once you know your personal risk factors for osteoporosis that can be changed, there may be many actions you can take to reduce your risk for bone loss and osteoporosis.
Postmenopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis should speak to a healthcare provider about medications that may help reduce bone loss and /or prevent fractures.