Treatment of menopause symptoms
Are there any treatments for symptoms of the menopause?
Treatments are available for some symptoms of menopause. These include:
The healthier you are, the better menopause you are likely to have. This means a heathy diet, taking exercise, sticking to alcohol guidelines and quitting smoking.
Hot flushes and night sweats
If hot flushes are a problem, consider dressing in lighter clothing and wearing layers that you can remove if you get too hot.
Keeping the bedroom cool also helps.
It may also help to avoid trigger foods, such as spicy dishes and caffeine - and trying to reduce stress.
Lubricants are available if vaginal dryness is a problem when having sex.
A doctor may also recommend oestrogen treatment as a vaginal pessary, cream or ring.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT makes up for the fall in natural oestrogen levels and can help reduce menopause symptoms.
A doctor will discuss the side-effects, risks and benefits of HRT.
Clonidine and gabapentin are other medication options for hot flushes if HRT is not suitable.
Mood changes associated with menopause may be helped with exercise relaxation techniques - and in some cases, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Reduced sex drive
If HRT is not suitable to help with reduced sex drive (libido) due to the menopause, doctors may suggest testosterone supplements as an alternative.
Complementary and alternative therapies
Some women try herbal remedies, such as black cohosh, which is registered with the regulator MHRA for the relief of symptoms associated with the menopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats, temporary mood changes such as irritability and restlessness, slightly low mood and mild anxiety.
A 2013 review of evidence published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist found the most evidence for the non-prescription treatments soy, red clover and black cohosh with regards helping with symptoms of the menopause.
Soy and red clover contain oestrogen-like compounds. Oestrogen, the female hormone, is found in lower levels in the body during menopause.
Seek medical advice before taking any of these therapies.