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AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU STOP BUYING SANITARY NAPKINS?

by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 8th, 2015

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU STOP BUYING SANITARY NAPKINS?

There is an age one reaches when you should not be seen in the aisle of the store that sells sanitary napkins or tampons unless of course you are buying it for someone other than yourself. The average age of menopause is 52 years old. You are considered menopausal when you have gone a full year without having a period. If you have a gone a full year without bleeding and you notice any amount of blood afterwards, this is considered postmenopausal bleeding and it needs to be investigated. You need to see a physician. You definitely should not be bleeding in your 60s or above.

Although the average age of menopause is 52 years old, there will be women who will become menopausal in their 40s and then there are women who will continue to have menstrual cycles until their late 50s (this is a minority). The time prior to menopause is considered peri-menopausal and your menstrual cycle will change. For some women the cycle length meaning from the first day of one period until the first day of the next period may shorten or lengthen. It should not be shorter than 21 days.  The period should not last longer than 7 days.

Unlike cervical cancer where we have the pap smear as a screening test or breast cancer where we have the mammogram as a screening test, there is no screening test for endometrial cancer. We rely on the patient telling us that they have abnormal bleeding. If you have any abnormal bleeding, you need to have a doctor’s visit.

Abnormal bleeding includes:

                Having your cycle length shorter than every 21 days

                Bleeding lasting longer than 7 days

                Bleeding after one year of no bleeding and you are at the age of menopause

                Bleeding after sex

Please call and schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Not all abnormal bleeding is due to cancer, but the only way to find out what is wrong is to get evaluated by a physician.

A research study that came out this summer shows that endometrial cancer is on the rise in the U.S. and black women are more at risk. Please get evaluated as soon as possible if you have any abnormal bleeding. To learn more about endometrial cancer, please visit: http://www.cancer.gov/types/uterine/patient/endometrial-treatment-pdq

 

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The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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