Dr. Karen Pike Discusses on the Menopause Challenges in Older Age Women

Dr. Karen Pike Discusses on the Menopause Challenges in Older Age Women
Written by Vertical Wise

Menopause is a significant phase in a woman’s life, bringing a host of physical and emotional changes. Understanding the menopause challenges in older women can help in managing this transition better. In this interview, Dr. Karen Pike, a board-certified ER physician and founder of Simply Menopause, shares her expert insights on what to expect and how to cope with the various challenges that come with menopause in older age.

Menopause is a vast subject with many things to understand and comprehend. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51, and it depends on many factors, including a woman’s overall health. Many women are often keen on knowing about life after menopause. Do symptoms get better with time, or do they worsen? Does life get better, or does it get more challenging? Read Dr. Karen Pike’s interview excerpts to learn more about this. 

Before we get into details, here’s an introduction to Dr. Karen Pike. She is a board-certified ER and has long been associated with the medical field. Her role in spreading awareness of menopause among women is commendable, which prompted her to create Simply Menopause. So, let’s get started.

Interview With Dr. Karen Pike

Hello, Dr. Pike. We are delighted to have you join us to discuss one of the most vital aspects of menopause—the challenges of menopause in older women. We cannot wait to hear your informative input on the topic. So, let’s get started.

Question: What happens in the postmenopause phase? 

Dr Pike: There is no point in guessing that postmenopause is the phase after menopause when you haven’t had periods for a year. The first thing that you may think of is what happens to your symptoms in menopause. Do they stay or go away? They won’t go immediately but will lessen in intensity and severity with time. 

For instance, if we speak about hot flashes, in some, it may stop in a few years after menopause. However, some women may continue to have it for many years after the menopause phase. As per conventional belief, hot flashes could last for anywhere between six months and two years after menopause. 

New studies have a different finding altogether. They say that the flashes could last for as long as seven years, 11 years, or more than that. A lot depends on how you live and maintain yourself. 

Question: Why are my breasts getting bigger after 50

Dr Pike: Many women come to me enquiring about an increase in their breast size after menopause. It seems pretty embarrassing to them. There isn’t much to worry about or become perplexed about. An increase in breast size with age is normal. It won’t happen for everyone, but one in five women could experience an enlargement in their breast size. If you were to ask why, I would say the hormonal imbalances are doing their job. Besides the size, many women may even find their breasts losing shape and becoming saggy. 

The reason is that a reduction in estrogen levels during and after menopause causes the connective tissues of your breasts to become dehydrated and lose their elasticity. Thus, the tissues shrink and lose shape. When the breasts get big and saggy, it’s challenging to restore their normal size and shape. However, having a balanced diet and exercising well could help. 

Question: What are the risks that older women have in menopause?

Dr Pike: I don’t mean to scare you, but here’s a word of caution. Declining estrogen levels affect several body functions. That’s why it is essential to take good care of yourself after menopause. 

If you aren’t physically active and mostly lead a sedentary life, you could be at risk of conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart ailments, and much more. 

Moreover, when you do not exercise much, you could even be susceptible to chronic back pain, which is quite prevalent in menopause. The declining estrogen levels also trigger weight gain in the postmenopause stage, mainly in the abdominal region. 

So, the onus lies in taking utmost care of yourself after menopause to prevent any health hazards. Another stressful occurrence is the increased incidence of vaginal dryness, affecting around 50% of postmenopausal women. That’s why lubricating your vagina with proper moisturizers and lubricants is essential to get relief from irritation and inflammation. 

Question: Does menopause put women at risk of cancer? 

Dr Pike: The very mention of cancer can scare you to bits. Many women often panic and ask me if, post menopause, they will be at risk of cancer or not. There have been several speculations of women developing cancer postmenopause. But this needs explanation. It isn’t relevant for everyone. 

Some findings mention that women having late menopause, after 55, could be at risk of breast, uterine, or ovarian cancers. One of the reasons for this is that they have had increased estrogen exposure.  Women using hormone therapy for a longer time could be susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, more specifically if they have opted for estrogen-only hormone therapy. That’s why discussing HRT with your doctor in depth is vital. You must know which kind of HRT would benefit you the most and the possible side effects. 

Similarly, those who began their menses before 12 could also be at risk of cancer. Having said this, that doesn’t mean any who have had late menopause or early menses could get affected by cancer. A lot depends on your overall health. That’s where lifestyle comes into play. 

You understand your body the best. If you have any unusual symptoms that have lasted for a long time and affected your daily life, do not delay seeking a doctor’s assistance. After menopause, you should also ensure that you go for regular cancer screenings. Women aged 30-65 should get a PAP test done in  three years or be screened for HPV within five years. Women over 55 should undergo mammograms every two years or yearly. 

Question: Can women go into depression postmenopause? 

Dr Pike: Around 40% of menopausal women are at risk of going through depressive episodes. However, I would say that much depends on your lifestyle. Eat well, exercise regularly, and focus on meditation and relaxation techniques. 

Do what gives you pleasure, like reading a book, learning a new skill, hanging out with friends, etc. Seek a therapist’s advice when you find things overwhelming or challenging. Talking out your woes helps you solve many problems easily.  

Question: Can a woman’s sex life be impacted postmenopause? 

Dr Pike: With menopause, you could often face another challenge, which is a reduced sex drive. Many women have told me that in the post-50s, they wouldn’t be aroused as easily as before and became less sensitive to gestures like stroking and patting. We can right away hold the reduced estrogen levels responsible for this. 

When the estrogen levels fall, the blood supply to your vagina is hampered. The vagina becomes lubricant and dry, making sex challenging.  Having said this, I would also like to state that not all postmenopausal women go through this concern. It is true that around one-third of women may have issues with sex postmenopause, but some have mentioned experiencing an improvement in their sex drive.   

The child-bearing responsibilities also lessen in post-menopause, making sex hassle-free. If there are issues with sex that are leading to marital discord, talk to your partner and think of alternative ways to make things better. You could even seek a counselor’s assistance in this regard. 


We hope Dr. Pike’s interview on menopause and its impact on older women will help you. She has even said that the risks are there, but altering your lifestyle can lessen the possibilities of several health hazards. Dr Pike also urged her readers to visit her website, Simply Menopause, to get more insight into other aspects of menopause. In conclusion, Dr. Karen Pike’s insights shed light on the various menopause challenges in older women, emphasizing the importance of lifestyle changes and regular medical check-ups. By staying informed and proactive, women can navigate postmenopausal health more effectively. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Dr. Karen Pike’s insights about menopause. Share your experiences and questions in the comments below!

About the author

Vertical Wise

Vertical Wise is an international website dedicated to supporting and promoting the world of pole dancing and aerial fitness. Our mission is to spread awareness, share knowledge, and celebrate the incredible artistry and athleticism of these disciplines. Join us as we connect enthusiasts, athletes, and professionals from around the globe, fostering a vibrant community that inspires and empowers individuals to reach new heights in their fitness journey.

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