Author(s): Rao SS, Singh M, Parkar M, Sugumaran R
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Abstract Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from the loss of ovarian and follicular activity. It usually occurs when women reach their early 50s. Vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness are frequently reported during menopause. Estrogen is the most effective treatment for management of hot flashes and night sweats. Local estrogen is preferred for vulvovaginal symptoms because of its excellent therapeutic response. Bone mineral density screening should be performed in all women older than 65 years, and should begin sooner in women with additional risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D should be encouraged for all postmenopausal women to reduce bone loss. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in women. Postmenopausal women should be counseled regarding lifestyle modification, including smoking cessation and regular physical activity. All women should receive periodic measurement of blood pressure and lipids. Appropriate pharmacotherapy should be initiated when indicated. Women should receive breast cancer screening every one to two years beginning at age 40, as well as colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 50. Women younger than 65 years who are sexually active and have a cervix should receive routine cervical cancer screening with Papanicolaou smear. Recommended immunizations for menopausal women include an annual influenza vaccine, a tetanus and diphtheria toxoid booster every 10 years, and a one-time pneumococcal vaccine after age 65 years.
This article was published in Am Fam Physician
and referenced in Journal of Patient Care