Are you a woman in your 50s? Here's what you need to know about your health

Blue Point Yoga in Durham has a special class specifically for women older than 50.

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The body will see changes and go through menopause.


Relieving stress and maintaining a healthy mind and body can help as the body changes and goes through menopause.

"You're labeled as menopausal if you have absolutely no cycle or no spotting for at least 12 months" according to WakeMed internist Dr. Tehmin Adnan.

Dr. Adnan said that for some women, the symptoms of menopause can be miserable not only for them but those around them as well. "You're family and colleagues will be complaining that you are moody, hot flashes, sleep disturbance," she said.


Experts said many women may find changes in their libido.

Women could also see other changes in their body that may influence their desire to have outercourse, and additionally, have issues with vaginal dryness.

WakeMed OBGYN Dr. Chantel Roedner said there is help for these symptoms. "The gold standard for vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy is topical estrogen. There are other hormonal placement options available for women if they are suffering from the very severe mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats. There's some evidence hormonal therapy can help with libido as well" Roedner said.


More serious issues that may affect women in their 50s are pelvic floor disorders.

Urogynecologist Dr. Andrea Crane said pressure in the pelvic floor for older women can lead to incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in older women.

"Their tissues when they've gone through menopause become weaker and so it's less resilient to counteract the pressures that you do as an active woman," Dr. Crane said because as many as one in four women will suffer a pelvic floor disorder.

For some, a nonsurgical option such as a pessary can help. "You bend it like a taco, put it into the vagina and it opens up and it helps to lift everything up," said Dr. Crane.


Women turning 50 should also schedule a colonoscopy.

Dr. Adnan said that if your results are normal, you're good for 10 years.

In addition to taking care of your colon, make sure you're getting enough calcium.

"If you are taking in some form of calcium, like yogurt, milk, cheese then you're fine, but if you're not you better supplement," said Dr. Adnan.

As women get older osteoporosis can cause fractures that can be slow to heal.

Dr. Adnan has recommended the new shingles vaccine for everyone 50 and older.

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