Gynecologic Issues of Aging

Does it happen in your 30s, when you start to lose bone mass? In your 40s, when risk for breast cancer increases sharply? Or in your 50s, when you go through menopause? How about your 60s, when you retire? Or your 70s, when you finally give up bungie jumping?

All this says is that the idea of aging is relative. While there are a host of changes that every woman will inevitably face as she ages, there are also a lot of weapons she can use to influence them. With today’s storehouse of knowledge about prevention and early detection of disease, we can think more about biological age than chronological age.

There are two important truths to aging:

  • It’s never too soon to begin to prepare for the future with healthy behaviors.
  • It’s never too late to make changes to live a healthier life.

The gynecologists in our network are experts in managing the broad spectrum of gynecological disease. In addition, many of them have sub-specialty credentials in prevention, early detection and management of problems that tend to develop as we age, including but now limited to:

More information:

Women’s Guidelines for Health

Some of the Unique Health Needs of Older Women

The facts can be a little surprising and frightening, but it is our hope that this knowledge will lead you to seek prevention which can result in a longer and healthier life.

  • According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than one-third of all women in the United States are menopausal, and that number will grow dramatically in the next decade as more the baby-boomers reach age 50.
  • Women older than 45 years are twice as likely as men to develop diabetes. Having diabetes negates the general protective effect of estrogen.
  • The risk for women of heart disease rises rapidly after menopause. Before menopause, the estrogen produced by the ovaries protects you from heart disease. Coronary heart disease affects 1 in 15 women age 45 to 64 and 1 in 7 women greater than 65.
  • By age 50, a woman has a nearly 40 percent chance of developing an osteoporotic fracture during her remaining life.
  • Studies have shown that more than 43% of newly diagnosed breast cancers occur in women aged 65 years or older. According to the National Cancer Institute, the median age for breast cancer is 63.
  • According to the 1996 National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel on Cervical Cancer, women ages 65 and older account for nearly 25 percent of all diagnosed cervical cancer cases and 41 percent of cervical cancer deaths in the United States. However, 51% of these women have not had a Pap test (to detect abnormal cervical cell changes) in the past 3 years. As of January 1998, Medicare covers Pap tests once every 3 years and may pay more often if necessary.
  • Endometrial cancer mainly affects older women at an average age of 55-65 years. Only five percent of endometrial cancers occur in women younger than 40.
  • Urinary incontinence affects 15 percent of women younger than 60 and approximately 60 percent of women older than 60 years of age in the United States.
  • As you age, you may also be at increased risk for:
    • Pelvic floor dropping
    • Uterine fibroids
    • Depression
    • Abnormal uterine bleeding
    • Vulvar disease
Scroll to Top