Preventing bone loss is an important concern for women in the menopause journey and during post-menopausal stages. Menopause significantly speeds bone loss and increases the risk of osteoporosis. Research indicates that up to 20% of bone loss can happen during these stages and approximately 1 in 10 women over the age of 60 are affected by osteoporosis worldwide. One in two postmenopausal women will have osteoporosis, and most will suffer a fracture during their lifetime. Fractures (broken bones) cause pain, decreased mobility, and function. Fractures are associated with decreased quality of life and increased mortality. It is never too late to be treated for osteoporosis, and in fact, older women are more likely to respond better to treatment if given early. The goal of your treatment plan is to decrease fractures associated with osteoporosis and maintain good bone health.
Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a progressive condition in which bones become structurally weak and are more likely to fracture or break. Menopause is the most common cause of osteoporosis. As hormones change to accommodate normal menopausal changes, estrogen levels start to fluctuate and then drop. Since estrogen helps prevent bones from getting weaker by slowing the natural breakdown of bone, its reduction during menopause significantly speeds up bone loss.
Estradiol is one of three estrogen hormones naturally produced in the body. The effects of estradiol are clearly seen in women experiencing menopause. During this process, women naturally have lower levels of estradiol as the ovaries no longer produce it, causing the menstrual cycles to stop. This change often causes mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats — the symptoms commonly associated with menopause. Over time, lower estradiol levels can lead to osteoporosis.