Long Term Effects

Coronary heart disease

There are oestrogen receptors in the blood vessels supplying women’s hearts. Before menopause, women have a lower risk of heart disease as oestrogen can reduce the build up of fatty plaques in the arteries supplying the heart. After menopause, the risk of heart disease increases. Stopping smoking, being physically fit and active and having a healthy body weight is also very important.

Bone Health

Our bones are at its strongest in our 30s and begin to slowly thin from our 40s. From menopause, as oestrogen levels fall, bones start to thin quicker at a rate of 2% per year. This makes bones weaker and more prone to breaking with minimal trauma. About 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will have a fracture (such as a hip fracture) resulting from Osteoporosis (thinning of bones).  You could also be at a higher risk of osteoporosis if you are under weight (BMI <20), very inactive or wheelchair bound, on long term oral steroids or have certain medical conditions (E.g. Coeliac disease or severe epilepsy), a smoker or drink alcohol excessively. Maintaining a healthy weight, regular weight bearing exercise, stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and ensuring your diet includes calcium and vitamin D can help maintain your Bone Health.