Hormones And Health: How PCOS Affects Menopause


Menopause by itself can be a rather odd and (at times) frustrating condition, but when you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), it can be a little more tricky to figure out exactly what effects your PCOS will have on this time in your life. So what do you have to look forward to as you're approaching menopause? If you have PCOS and are wondering what effects it will have on you when you reach menopause, then here's what you need to know.

How Will PCOS Affect Health During and After Menopause?

Unfortunately, because PCOS causes weight gain (and the inability to lose that weight), your chances of incurring cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes go way up, especially as you hit menopause and middle age where your body slows down a bit.

As a woman with PCOS you're more likely to have elevated triglycerides, which raises your chances of heart disease, and are also more likely to have impaired gluten tolerance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. In order to prevent cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, make sure to follow a diet that's high in heart-healthy fats (like those in salmon or avocado) and low in carbohydrates (especially simple carbs like those in breads and pastas) and make sure to have regular check-ups and blood work.

How Will PCOS Affect Sex Hormones During Menopause?

The answer to this question might actually surprise you, due to PCOS' detrimental effect on sex hormones pre-menopause. Because you'll naturally have higher levels of androgens in your ovaries, your reproductive life span – aka how long you can have kids – is actually longer than a woman's would be without PCOS.

In addition, as your androgen levels naturally decline as you start heading into menopause, you're more likely to have regular, trackable periods and may even see your fertility increase as you get older. While PCOS isn't a desirable condition, these tradeoffs may soften the blow as you head into the next stage of your life.

Will Menopause Cure PCOS?

Like many women with PCOS, you may be hoping that menopause will bring to an end some of the problems that PCOS can create within your body, as it's a condition that always presents before the onset of menopause, never afterwards.

However, just as a hysterectomy doesn't get rid of the problems PCOS causes metabolically and in other organs (such as the heart), menopause won't create a miracle cure.

Some symptoms may get better, as androgen – the male hormone that causes a lot of PCOS symptoms such as acne and hirsutism – levels drop, but some symptoms might stay the same (or even worsen). The best thing you can do for your health is to keep in close contact with your doctor, such as at Contemporary Health Care, during menopause; they'll be able to address the specific problems that come with PCOS and menopause.


4 July 2016

A Precious Addition to the Family

My husband and I are ready to have our first child. Because I’m an older, potential mom, I’m working closely with my OBGYN. While I know the road to motherhood might be difficult and time consuming for me, I’m prepared for the challenge. I’ve already discussed several medications and procedures that help with infertility issues with my caring OBGYN. My husband and I are discussing our comfort levels with each type of infertility treatment alternative. We are confident we will make the right decisions for our future family. On this blog, I hope you will discover some of the best treatment options for infertility available today. Enjoy the journey to motherhood!