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Post-Reproductive Gynecology. Goals & Objectives By the end of this lecture you will be able to: List the reproductive system changes in post-reproductive women Describe the routine preventive care for post-reproductive women

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Presentation Transcript
Goals & Objectives
  • By the end of this lecture you will be able to:
    • List the reproductive system changes in post-reproductive women
    • Describe the routine preventive care for post-reproductive women
    • Recognize common gynecologic issues in post-reproductive women with some understanding of diagnosis and treatment options
    • Evaluate post-reproductive woman for pelvic functional and relaxation assessment and list treatment options
    • Be alarmed at the changes that can occur as we age
  • Case Presentations
  • Life expectancy, 2007
    • total population: 78.00 years
    • male: 75.20 years
    • female: 81.00 years
  • Census statistics from 2000 ->06
    • Total US population increasing

283 million to 299 million

    • Women

143 million to 151 million

    • Women, 40 years and older

64 million to 71 million

    • 43% of the total increase in our population is women over 40
objective 1
Objective 1

List the reproductive system changes

in post-reproductive women

symptoms of peri menopause
Symptoms of Peri-Menopause
  • Hot flashes (flushes)
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood fluctuation
  • Depression
  • Menstrual irregularity and eventual cessation
effects of aging on reproductive organs
Effects of Aging on Reproductive Organs
  • Vulva/Vagina
    • atrophy
  • Pelvic Support
    • loss of elasticity
    • deterioration in smooth muscle function
  • Cancer Risks
    • Breast
    • Vulvar and Vaginal
    • Ovarian
    • Uterine
objective 2
  • Describe the routine preventive care for post-reproductive women

Preventive Gynecologic Care in Post-reproductive Women


  • breast problems
  • vaginal or vulvar symptoms (bleeding, pain, dryness irritation, discharge)
  • abdominal or pelvic problems (pain, bloating)
  • incontinence (urinary or fecal)
  • domestic abuse screening
  • assessment of other primary care (other primary provider or just Gyn; vaccinations)
preventive gynecologic care in post reproductive women
Preventive Gynecologic Care in Post-reproductive Women

Physical exam

Vital Signs – Height/Weight/BMI, Pulse, BP, General appearance

  • Thyroid
  • Lymph Node survey
  • Breasts
  • Abdomen (mass, tenderness, hepatosplenomegaly)
  • Vulva (attention to atrophy)
  • Vagina/Cervix (attention to atrophy)
  • Bimanual to assess uterus and ovaries
  • Recto/vaginal exam

Preventive Gynecologic Care in Post-reproductive Women

Laboratory/Imaging Studies

  • Pap smear
  • Mammography
  • Lipid profile
  • Rectal cancer screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • Thyroid function evaluation
  • Consider bone density (osteoporosis) screening
preventive gynecologic care in post reproductive women1
Preventive Gynecologic Care in Post-reproductive Women


  • Diet & exercise
    • calcium, vitamin D & folic acid
  • Sexuality
    • libido issues, vaginal dryness, sexual function issues
  • Menopause issues
    • anticipatory guidance, sleep disorders, depression
objective 3
  • Recognize common gynecologic issues in post-reproductive women with some understanding of diagnosis and treatment options
abnormal bleeding
Abnormal Bleeding
  • What do we want to know about bleeding?
    • Pre or post-menopausal
    • Cyclic vs. irregular
    • Location
      • Vulvar
      • Vaginal
      • Cervical
      • Uterine
  • Evaluation
    • Exam
    • Laboratory & Imaging
      • Recent pap smear?
      • Biopsy of suspicious lesions of vulva/vagina/cervix
      • Endometrial biopsy
      • Pelvic ultrasound
atrophy atrophic vaginitis
  • One of most common problem Gyn visit in > 65 population
  • Symptoms experienced by over 40% of postmenopausal women
  • Presents as
    • Dyspareunia
    • Discharge
    • Burning pain
    • Urinary urgency/frequency
  • Caused by ?
    • lack of estrogen influence on urogenital tissues
    • resulting on loss of lubrication, thinning and decreased elasticity of vaginal mucosa
lab diagnosis
Lab Diagnosis

Wet mount useful to rule out other pathogens

Look for high proportion of basal and parabasal cells and few if any superficial cells

Vaginal pH increased

(>5 when atrophy present)

atrophic vaginitis treatment
Atrophic Vaginitis Treatment
  • Most effective treatment is vaginal estrogen
  • 3 options for vaginal delivery
    • Cream
      • Conjugated Equine Estrogens (Premarin)
      • Estradiol (Estrace)
    • Estradiol containing ring (Estring)
    • Estradiol vaginal tablet (Vagifem, 25 mcg)
  • Minimal absorption at recommended doses
  • Serum Estradiol level possible to reassure patients that no systemic absorption but not necessary
treatment of menopause
“Treatment” of Menopause

In the past ….

  • long-term (more than five years) unopposed estrogen (ET) and combined estrogen-progestin therapy (hormone therapy [HT]) routinely prescribed
  • For prevention
    • coronary heart disease (CHD)
    • osteoporosis
  • extensive observational data demonstrated protective effect of estrogen on the heart and bone
treatment of menopause1
Treatment of Menopause

Women's Health Initiative - 2004

  • Large prospective randomized controlled trial
  • healthy postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79
  • Primarily a trial of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease
  • Showed increased risk of breast cancer, CHD, stroke, and venous thromboembolism with combined estrogen & progestin therapy
  • Showed no cardiovascular benefit with unopposed estrogen
  • Follow-up analyses suggest that the excess CHD risk occurs in older, but not younger postmenopausal women
hormonal treatment of menopause
Hormonal Treatment of Menopause
  • Risks include
    • coronary heart disease events
    • stroke
    • venous thromboembolism
    • breast cancer
    • breast tenderness and vaginal bleeding
    • possible increased risk of dementia or no effect
  • Benefits include
    • reduction of fracture and colorectal cancer rise
    • significant decrease in hot flushes, vaginal dryness, joint pains/stiffness and general aches and pains when compared to placebo
objective 4
  • Evaluate post-reproductive woman for pelvic functional and relaxation assessment and list treatment options
pelvic floor relaxation
Pelvic Floor Relaxation
  • Women have 11% risk of having surgery for incontinence or prolapse symptoms by age 80
  • Pelvic floor relaxation is the most common indication for hysterectomy in women over 55
  • Treatment indicated for symptoms BUT
  • Most women with prolapse are asymptomatic
  • The support of the pelvic floor is composed of a network of muscles, fascia and ligaments
  • Damage to any one of these structures may result in weakening and loss of support
  • Pelvic prolapse (“pelvic relaxation”) may lead to symptoms of pressure, fullness, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, need for vaginal splinting
types of pelvic relaxation
Types of Pelvic Relaxation
  • Cystocele and Urethrocele
  • Rectocele
  • Uterine Prolapse or Procidentia
  • Vaginal Vault Prolapse
  • Enterocele
cystocele symptoms
Cystocele Symptoms
  • Pelvic or Vaginal Pressure
  • Dyspareunia
  • Dragging or drawing vaginal sensation
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder, sometimes requiring splinting
  • Frequent UTI
  • Distension cystocele
    • Central defect
    • Note absence of rugal folds
rectocele symptoms
Rectocele Symptoms
  • Vaginal Pressure or Discomfort
  • Protrusion coming from the posterior wall
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty evacuating rectum (“splinting)
  • Dyspareunia

Total prolapse of the bladder and uterus to the outside of the body

non surgical treatment
Non Surgical treatment
  • Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
  • Pessaries
    • Supportive
    • Space occupying
    • Be sure to use with vaginal or systemic estrogen with postmenopausal women
    • Should be removed and cleaned at least every 2-4 months by patient or clinician


  • Press against the walls of the vagina and are retained within the vagina by the tissues of the vaginal outlet
  • May cause vaginal irritation and ulceration
  • Are better tolerated when the vaginal epithelium is well estrogenized
  • Should be removed periodically, cleaned and reinserted
  • Failure to do so may result in serious consequences, including fistula formation
  • Patients may be managed successfully with a pessary for years
case presentation 1
Case Presentation 1

Chief Complaint: TDR is a 53 year old, G2P2 complaining of hot flashes, emotional difficulties, and inability to sleep

History of Present Illness: 1 year hx of hot flashes occurring 2-3 times per day and occasionally at night; also having trouble sleeping for the past 6 months and is extremely fatigued. She denies any vaginal bleeding.

She begins to cry in your office. Her last menstrual period was 18 months ago.

physical exam
Physical Exam

Vital signs: 165 pounds, 5’5” 140/90 mm Hg


No thyromegaly, mass or lymph nodes


No discharge or nipple retraction

No palpable masses


No masses, hernia, hepatosplenomegaly or tenderness


Normal external genitalia

Vagina slightly atrophic with decreased rugae

Small Cystocele (Stage 2, anterior wall descends to introitus)

Uterus small and anteverted; neither ovary is palpable on bimanual exam

  • Other routine screening tests (Pap, mammography, especially thyroid function studies
    • All normal
  • Consider complete blood count
    • Normal
  • Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH)
    • Elevated
Diagnosis: Menopause
  • Management Plan:
      • Educate regarding normal menopause symptoms, expectations and natural history of the course of symptoms
      • Encourage good self care-taking (enough sleep and exercise, stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, self-help groups)
      • Discuss non-hormonal management
        • dietary phyto-estrogens like soy
        • Black Cohosh for depression
      • Discus hormonal medical options

Case Presentation 2

Chief Complaint: EMJ is a 72-year-old woman G4P4 presents complaining of “fullness” in the vaginal area.

History of Present Illness: The symptom is more noticeable when she is standing for a long period of time. She does not complain of urinary or fecal incontinence. She has no other urinary or gastrointestinal symptoms. There has been no vaginal bleeding. Her past medical history is significant for well-controlled hypertension and chronic bronchitis. She has never had surgery.

physical exam labs
Physical Exam & Labs

Neck, breast and abdominal exam normal

Pelvic exam

normal appearing external genitalia except for generalized atrophic changes

vagina and cervix are without lesions

second-degree Cystocele and Rectocele are noted

cervix descends to introitus with the patient in an erect position

no rectal masses noted with rectal sphincter tone slightly decreased

uterus is normal size; right and left ovaries are not palpable

Labs or Studies:

urinalysis and post-void residual

No evidence of UTI and post void residual normal at 35 cc.

Diagnosis: Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Management:
    • Educate patient regarding findings with some information on natural history and risks and complications with observation only
    • Discuss options for management, both non-surgical and surgical
  • Plan:
    • Patient prefers non-surgical option
    • Pessary placed and vaginal estrogen used to address atrophic changes