Many women who go through menopause experience adverse symptoms. Sometimes, they can become overbearing and interfere with daily life. In those cases, it’s necessary to find relief for menopause symptoms.
One way you can seek relief is by contacting your primary care physician or gynecologist. Before you visit your provider, they’ll likely ask you some questions to provide you with the best care. Be prepared by keeping track of your symptoms, keeping a list of medications and supplements you take, and bringing a list of your own questions.
Medical Treatments for Menopause Symptoms
Vaginal dryness is one of the most common menopausal symptoms. Estrogen can be administered directly to the vagina with vaginal cream, ring, or tablet. The vaginal tissues absorb small amounts of estrogen at a time. This can help relieve dryness, uncomfortable sexual intercourse, and some uncomfortable urinary symptoms.
Certain low-dose antidepressants can provide hot flash relief. This can be used as an alternative for women who cannot take estrogen, and they additionally may provide help with mood disorders.
Hormone therapy is a common menopausal treatment and has been shown to help with vaginal discomfort and hot flashes. Hormone therapy can also prevent osteoporosis. Doctors typically prescribe estrogen coupled with progesterone or progestin to balance estrogen levels.
Those who suffer from hot flashes may also find relief with Gabapentin. While it’s approved to treat seizures, it’s also been shown to provide relief for night sweats. It’s commonly used as an alternative to estrogen therapy.
Clonidine is a pill or patch meant to treat high blood pressure, but it can be used to help with hot flashes.
Medications to Treat Osteoporosis
Women are more at risk for osteoporosis after menopause, so depending on your individual needs, your doctor may prescribe preventative care. Your doctor may also prescribe vitamin D to help strengthen bones and prevent fractures.
Natural Treatments for Relieving Menopausal Symptoms
Natural treatments can also be effective in treating menopausal symptoms. Some natural ways you can manage symptoms are:
Keeping cold beverages close by may help you feel better when you experience hot flashes. Try to avoid caffeine and hot drinks which can exacerbate dehydration. Take note of what triggers your hot flashes and avoid them. These could be warm rooms, alcohol, and spicy foods.
Exercising regularly helps prevent obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other conditions associated with aging. Exercise has also been shown to help anxiety and stress levels, which tend to peak during menopause.
Get Enough Sleep
Prioritize getting enough sleep to soothe menopausal symptoms. Exercise during the day and avoid caffeine to sleep better at night. Try winding down for an hour before bedtime and not using electronics. Stick to a regular bedtime schedule and wake up at the same time every day.
Vaginal dryness occurs from fluctuating hormones, which can cause discomfort during sex. Seek relief with a water-based lubricant or a silicone-based moisturizer. Avoid lubricants that contain glycerin, as they can cause burning or irritation. Choosing to stay sexually active can also relieve vaginal dryness, as it increases blood flow to the vagina.
Smoking increases chances of unpleasant menopausal symptoms, can bring on earlier menopause, and increases your chances of stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer.
Yoga, meditation, and exercise reduce irritability and decrease stress levels. Deep relaxation also helps many people sleep better.
Eat Nutrient-Rich Food
A balanced diet helps reduce the chances of osteoporosis, lowers the risk of heart disease, and keeps your body strong. Focus on eating foods full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to help prevent muscle mass loss and give you energy. Foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and dairy are rich in protein. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D such as kale, spinach, tofu, beans, and sardines are good for bone health. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and can help with weight maintenance.
Eat Less Sugar and Processed Foods
Diets high in refined carbs and sugar may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women. High sugar consumption also results in highs and lows in blood sugar, making you feel tired and irritable. Postmenopausal women who eat more processed foods also tend to have worse bone health.
Phytoestrogens are natural plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. In countries such as Japan where women’s diets are high in phytoestrogens, menopausal women rarely experience hot flashes. They are also associated with lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Foods high in phytoestrogens include sesame seeds, beans, soy products, tofu, and flaxseeds.
Partner with Your Healthcare Provider
Even though dealing with menopause is difficult, you can alleviate symptoms with the right medical treatments or lifestyle changes. Contact our office for more information and to align with one of our incredible physicians in your journey through menopause.
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust? Do you live in the Tucson area? Book an appointment today!