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Are You In Menopause?

        Health | Menopause

Are You In Menopause? (<i>cont'd</i>)

There are also estrogen creams, such as Premarin, that you can apply directly to the vagina to build up tissues. Estrogen will rebuild vaginal cells, relieving dryness and painful intercourse, and also help to restore sensation and orgasmic intensity, and it will reduce bladder infections.

Do you have stiff or aching joints?

Joint pain, which first shows up as early morning stiffness, is generally caused by the progressive deterioration of cartilage in your joints called osteoarthritis. Cartilage is the rubbery tissue that covers the ends of your bones and acts like a shock absorber where bones meet.

You have this cartilage at your hip joints, knees, elbows, fingers, wrists, ankles, shoulders, neck, toes and jaw, and between the vertebrae in your spine. As you age, this cartilage wears down until bone grinds on bone. The conventional treatment for osteoarthritis is aspirin in various forms and strengths.

But recently, combinations of glucosamine, which stimulates the manufacture of the chains of sugars, amino acids and sulfur that make up the GAG layer critical to joint movement, and MSM (methylsulfonlmethane), an anti-inflammatory derived from foods, seem to be gaining popularity as well for relieving pain and restoring movement. Check with your physician.

Are you having bladder control problems?

During your reproductive years, constant production of estrogen kept many of the tissues in your body doing their job correctly. As you age, and your estrogen production decreases, the lining of your bladder thins and the muscle structures that support it weaken.

As a result, a smaller amount of urine in your bladder causes you to feel that you must void sooner than you did before (urge incontinence) and you may have leakage when you sneeze, exercise, cough, or dance (stress incontinence). About one in six women have a problem with stress incontinence between the ages of 40 and 65. Doctors often recommend kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles that control voiding, reducing coffee intake because coffee is a diuretic, and the application of estrogen cream directly to the urethral tissue. A very low dose, such as 0.5 mg estriol cream, is sufficient to solve the problem according to some physicians. There are also urinary control inserts that may work for you. Ask your doctor about your options.