LifePlus CLINICAL PATHWAY
Whether you’re ready for pregnancy or going through menopause, Copeman Healthcare can work with you to optimize your health, so you thrive no matter your stage in life.
Women’s health throughout the decades is influenced by natural changes that occur in your body often in response to changes in hormone levels.
This clinical pathway is personalized to you. Often it is helpful to think of your health in terms of pre-conception, conception, peri-menopause, menopause and healthy aging.
At many stages in your life hormones play a role in overall health and can impact:
At Copeman Healthcare our collaborative model tailors care to your unique needs and stage in life. A family health nurse acts as your guide along the way and works with a team of professionals including a physician, dietitian and kinesiologist who work together to develop a plan that’s right for you.
Teens & early 20’s
At this age it is important for teens to engage in weight-bearing activities to develop bone mass that will carry you throughout your life and prevent osteoporosis (weakening of the bone) later in life. It is also important to further develop cognitive skills and exercise habits and put yourself on the path to lifelong prevention. In the later teens and early 20s thoughtful discussions often take place around sexuality and birth control.
For women aged 18 to 24, Copeman offers the Young Adults Prevention Program, specifically designed to address the care needs of this young group.
Twenty-five to thirties
Many women delay their first pregnancy until well into their 30s. Regardless of when you decide to have a family it’s important to be thinking about fertility many years in advance.
If you want to have children, you should be in sync with your menstrual cycle, medication use and family history in your early 20s. Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Thyroid disorders can all present with changes in flow, regularity or menstrual pain and lead to fertility issues. Getting these sorted out early in life can increase your chances of conceiving naturally later on.
Supplementation with folic acid, omegas and adequate calcium are all important at this age, especially if you’re thinking of getting pregnant. Dietitians can advise on timing, daily allowance and review medications with your physician. They can also advise on appropriate nutrition for breast feeding.
Regardless of your family plans, it’s important at this age to develop lasting nutrition and exercise habits. Heart Disease is the leading killer of women and prevention needs to begin in the third decade of life to impact risk in later years.
It’s also important at this age to strive to be your ideal weight as carrying excess weight is a risk factor for many chronic conditions and is much more difficult to lose in your 40s and 50s.
Forties & Fifties
The decade of the 40s is typically all about peri-menopause and the changes that come with it.
This stage of your life is often characterized by sporadic hot flashes, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, fatigue, irregular menstrual cycles, night sweats, forgetfulness and mood changes that come several years before the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life. During this stage it’s important to effectively manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and get good quality sleep.
Fifties & Sixties
Menopause, defined as the passing of a full year without a menstrual cycle, brings many significant physical and emotional changes that can impact your health.
This can be a difficult stage because in addition to unwelcome physical changes, menopause often brings emotional challenges such as mood swings, depression, anger, irritability, trouble sleeping and a number of issues related to psychological health.
These issues can significantly disrupt daily activities and your sense of well-being. If you are suffering intolerable symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy or other treatments may be appropriate.
In addition to managing your health during this difficult period it’s important to continue with a well thought-out prevention plan – know your numbers; waist circumference, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Maintain optimal levels to ensure you thoroughly enjoy the next decades of life and celebrate the arrival of your grandkids.
Healthy aging for post-menopausal women often involves vigilant monitoring of age-related issues such as Osteoporosis, iron deficiency, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, cognitive decline and careful surveillance for heart disease, cancers and metabolic disorders.
At Copeman, women’s health services are matched to your specific needs with the most appropriate team that can offer the care you need. All along the way a family health nurse acts as your guide providing coaching and navigation that is appropriate to your age and stage in life.