3 Options for Menopause Management

Portrait Of Mature Female Friends Walking Through Field On Camping Vacation; blog: 3 Options for Menopause Management

Menopause occurs when a woman has not had a menstrual period for a full year. It marks the end of a woman’s fertile period. Women reach menopause at different ages and may experience symptoms for several years. According to the US Office on Women’s Health, women usually reach menopause between 45 and 58. During this time the body stops making certain hormones like estrogen, which may trigger unpleasant symptoms. Luckily, your OB/GYN can help you with menopause management care.

Symptoms of Menopause

Different women experience menopause differently. Some women only have mild symptoms while some have more intense symptoms. And not all women experience the same symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms women experience during menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Frequent urination
  • Mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Weight gain

Menopause Management Options

Your OB/GYN can help you manage your menopausal symptoms in several ways. They can guide you to make lifestyle changes, prescribe hormone replacement therapy, or prescribe non-hormonal medications to manage your symptoms.

1. Lifestyle Changes

You can manage symptoms of menopause by making some lifestyle changes. Many of these changes are aimed at relieving the primary menopausal symptom that interferes with daily life: hot flashes. But there are other changes you can make to help with other symptoms.

Try these steps for menopause management:

  • Wear cool clothing to bed
  • Choose lightweight bedding
  • Take cool showers to relieve hot flashes
  • Get a bedside fan
  • Stay in air-conditioned spaces
  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger hot flashes
  • Stop smoking
  • Adopt a healthier diet
  • Stay active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Try lubricants for vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse

2. Hormone Replacement Therapy

One of the most effective treatments for menopause management is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This treatment aims to replace the estrogen and progesterone your body no longer makes during menopause.

HRT can be provided using several types of prescription hormones including:

  • Bioidentical hormones: Hormones that are identical to those the human female body makes
  • Hormones from other species: Estrogens and other hormones derived from other animals or plants.
  • Synthetic hormones: Hormones created in a laboratory to mimic the action of the hormones produced by the human female body
  • Combinations of bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones

Depending on the type of HRT you are prescribed, the hormones may be administered with hormone pellets, injections, oral medications, transdermal patches, creams, or gels. 

3. Non-Hormonal Medication

Not all medications used for menopause management are hormonal. There are three major categories of non-hormonal medications used to manage the symptoms menopause:

    • SSRI antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro can help reduce symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. If depression is one of your menopausal symptoms, these medications can also help with that.
    • Blood pressure medications can help with vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, and sweating.
  • Medications to treat and prevent osteoporosis can be used to strengthen bones and prevent bone loss. HRT with estrogen may also help protect bones during menopause.

Consult an OB/GYN

The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Kernodle OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women in Burlington and Mebane, NC. If you have questions about menopause symptoms and how they can be managed, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.

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