Before menopause begins, learn about the various available treatments for relief of menopausal symptoms so you are prepared.
Menopause is a natural biological process, normally occurring in women during their late 40s or 50s. The average age for U.S. American women to start of menopause is 51. Surgeries or other treatments for disease can also trigger menopause. The physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can affect your energy level or emotional health. Knowing the symptoms of menopause and their treatment can help you navigate this time of change with more ease and comfort.
Be sure to include getting information about these in your list of questions to ask your gynecologist. The following is a list of available treatments for relief of symptoms of menopause.
Symptoms of Menopause
During the months, or possibly years, leading to perimenopause, the following signs or symptoms are common:
- Irregular Periods (Skipping one or more periods before periods resume. Shorter and more frequent periods.)
- Weight Gain (due to reduced metabolism)
- Mood Changes
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Vaginal Dryness
- Night Sweats
- Loss of Breast Shape
- Dry Skin
- Hair Thinning
Treatment of Menopause Symptoms
Treatments can be used to help relieve menopausal symptoms, and to prevent or manage chronic conditions that sometimes develop with aging. Treatments of symptoms can include:
- Hormone Therapy — Estrogen and progestin therapy relieves hot flashes for some women. (If your uterus has been removed, progestin is not needed.) Estrogen can also help prevent bone loss. Long-term hormone therapy may increase risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular health problems. Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, and inform you about available non-hormonal therapies.
- Vaginal Estrogen — To relieve vaginal dryness, pain during sexual intercourse, and some urinary symptoms, an estrogen cream, ring, or tablet can be applied directly to the vagina.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, others) — Gabapentin is sometimes recommended to help reduce hot flashes for women who cannot use estrogen therapy.
- Clonidine (Kapvay, Catapres, or others) — Clonidine in a patch or pill may be used to relieve hot flashes or to treat high blood pressure during menopause.
- Low-Dosage Antidepressants — Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be used to reduce hot flashes for women who cannot use estrogen therapy. SSRIs may also be used for those who need treatment for a mood disorder.
The Woman’s Clinic
The board certified physicians at The Woman’s Clinic provide the highest quality of gynecological and obstetrics care for women in a comfortable, state-of-the-art woman’s clinic. For more information about treatment of menopause symptoms, or to see a Little Rock gynecologist, contact The Woman’s Clinic to schedule an appointment at (501) 664-4131