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What Can You Do For Menopause Symptoms

Nurture That Lost Desire

Why Do I Feel Dizzy? | Menopause Dizziness

Make more time for sex. Try massage and foreplay, too. Use erotica and new-for-you sex routines as ways to build desire. Hormone changes are a main cause, but other things that zap your sex drive can strike at the same time. Ask your doctor about poor sleep, bladder trouble, or feeling depressed or stressed.

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Menopause Symptom: Vaginal Problems And Infections

Vaginal problems, such as vaginal dryness, may start or get worse in the time around menopause. Low levels of the hormone may cause your vaginal tissue to get drier and thinner. This can cause itching, burning and pain or discomfort. It also can make sex painful and cause small cuts and tears in your vagina during sex. Vaginal cuts or tears put you at higher risk for .

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Perimenopause Complications

Irregular periods are the most common symptom of perimenopause. But its important to know when to talk to your healthcare provider about your periods. Sometimes, irregular bleeding can point to an underlying problem.

You can lower your risk of complications by seeking treatment when necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider if you:

  • Bleed for more than seven days in a row.
  • Bleed between periods.
  • Change pads or tampons every one to two hours.
  • Have periods more frequently than every 21 days.

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When Does Menopause Occur

Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to have an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often have a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did.

Menopause can also happen for reasons other than natural reasons. These include:

  • Premature menopause. Premature menopause may happen when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40. It may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply. Premature ovarian failure is also called primary ovarian insufficiency.

  • Surgical menopause. Surgical menopause may follow the removal of one or both ovaries, or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause. These women often have more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to have menopause naturally.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: It Can Bring Relief

Menopause: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

If menopause symptoms are getting you down, medications can help. Talk to your doctor about low-dose birth control pills, which can regulate heavy or irregular periods during early perimenopause. Closer to menopause, hormone therapy can improve symptoms such as hot flashes.

Treatment is especially helpful if hot flashes are interfering with a good nights sleep, Dr. Evans adds. Often, women find that anxiety and depression ease once hot flashes and night sweats are no longer making them toss and turn all night.

At the end of the day, just remember: Menopause is a stage of life, not a disease in need of a cure. And you can continue to live your best life during these years.

If youre feeling some distress, touch base with a healthcare provider, Dr. Evans reassures. No matter what you are going through, we can help.

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Other Physical And Mental Changes At Midlife

Some common midlife changes that are often attributed to menopause are not necessarily related to the fluctuating or decreasing hormone levels of menopause. The four most commonly reported changes include mood changes and depression insomnia or other sleep problems cognitive or memory problems and decline in sexual desire, function, or both. Other physical changes that crop up in the middle years include weight gain, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, dry skin and hair, and headaches. For these, a hormonal link is possible, but has not been proved. Consider the fact that men, who don’t experience a dramatic drop in hormone levels in their early 50s, often notice many of these same symptoms!

Cardiovascular Disease And Hrt

Women over 60 have a small increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke on combined oral HRT. Although the increase in risk is small, it needs to be considered when starting HRT, as the risk occurs early in treatment and persists with time.

Oestrogen used on its own increases the risk of stroke further if taken in tablet form, but not if using a skin patch. Similarly, tibolone increases the risk of stroke in women from their mid-60s.

Women who commence HRT around the typical time of menopause have lower risks of cardiovascular disease than women aged 60 or more.

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Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Complementary and alternative treatments, such as herbal remedies and bioidentical hormones, are not recommended for symptoms of the menopause. This is because it’s generally unclear how safe and effective they are.

Bioidentical hormones are not the same as body identical hormones. Body identical hormones, or micronised progesterone, can be prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms.

Some complementary and alternative therapies can also interact with other medicines and cause side effects.

Ask your GP or pharmacist for advice if you’re thinking about using a complementary therapy.

Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021

The Hormone Roller Coaster

Are you struggling with menopause symptoms? Learn why and how you can heal

In a nutshell, during the menopausal transition, the ovaries produce far fewer eggs from increasingly limited follicles, and there are significant fluctuations in reproductive hormone levels , including inhibin B, follicle stimulating hormone , estrogen, progesterone and anti-Mullerian hormone .

These biological changes can then lead to missed or altered menstrual periods and the common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, changes to libido, sleep disturbances, mood or mental health disturbances, and weight or body composition alterations. These hormonal shifts can also lead to challenging gut symptoms for many women, as we will discuss next.

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Vaginal Dryness And Discomfort

If your vagina becomes dry, painful or itchy as a result of the menopause, your GP can prescribe oestrogen treatment that’s put directly into your vagina as a pessary, cream or vaginal ring.

This can safely be used alongside HRT.

You’ll usually need to use vaginal oestrogen indefinitely, as your symptoms are likely to return when treatment stops. However, side effects are very rare.

You can also use over-the-counter vaginal moisturisers or lubricants in addition to, or instead of, vaginal oestrogen.

Read more about vaginal dryness and sex as you get older.

Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

Non-pharmacological treatments

There are several drug-free ways to reduce the impact of hot flushes and night sweats. These include:

  • Counselling and psychological treatment such as cognitive behaviour therapy .
  • Hypnosis may also be helpful.
  • Some women also benefit from acupuncture.

Whilst paced breathing, exercise and relaxation programs may be helpful for your general physical and emotional health, they do not significantly reduce menopausal symptoms.

Non-hormonal drug treatments

Several prescription medications have been shown to reduce hot flushes and night sweats. Unfortunately, these do not improve vaginal dryness. Prescription medications for hot flushes and sweats include:

  • certain antidepressants
  • a drug called gabapentin
  • a blood pressure medication called clonidine.

These drugs may reduce hot flushes and nights sweats from around 40-60 per cent . Using antidepressants and using treatments that improve sleep may also improve mood.

For more information see the fact sheet Treating hot flushes: An alternative to menopausal hormone therapy

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Menopausal hormone therapy contains oestrogen to treat menopausal symptoms and may contain a progestogen to protect the lining of the uterus from cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Menopausal hormone therapy is also known as hormone replacement therapy or hormone therapy .

See the fact sheet Menopausal Hormone Therapy for more information on:

Compounded or bioidentical hormone therapy

For advice

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Does Menopause Cause Fatigue

Studies on menopausal symptoms show that there is a link between menopause and fatigue. In fact, medical researchers have linked early menopause to a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome , a condition that commonly affects women with menstrual disorders and endometriosis.

Most women don’t experience CFS, but a majority do experience severe fatigue during menopause.

So does menopause cause fatigue? Yes, it does. But how can you tell whether you are experiencing menopausal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome?

In general, women go through menopause when they are between 45 and 55 years old. Women who experience menopause before age 45 are in early menopause. Some studies showed that women with chronic fatigue syndrome are more likely to have early or premature menopause, as well as other gynecological disorders.

CFS is a serious disorder which can be diagnosed by ruling out other health conditions. It is suspected if the condition lasts more than 4 months. Also, keep in mind that CFS is much more severe than menopausal fatigue.

If you are older than 45, you may notice some changes in your body like absent or irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. These are some indicators that you are approaching menopause.

There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. During all stages, you may experience menopausal fatigue, which is less severe than CFS.

Eat Lots Of Fruit And Vegetables

Menopause And The Most Common Symptoms ...

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent a number of menopause symptoms.

Fruits and veggies are low in calories and can help you feel full, so theyre great for weight loss and weight maintenance.

They may also help prevent a number of diseases, including heart disease .

This is important, since heart disease risk tends to increase after menopause. This could be due to factors such as age, weight gain or possibly reduced estrogen levels.

Finally, fruits and vegetables may also help prevent bone loss.

One observational study of 3,236 women aged 5059 found that diets high in fruit and vegetables may lead to less bone breakdown .

Bottom Line:

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help keep bones healthy, and can help prevent weight gain and certain diseases.

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What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

The 34 symptoms of menopause is a list of common symptoms that can occur before or during menopause. They include hot flashes, irregular periods, mood changes, and more.

Menopause refers to the stage of a females life during which their period stops. It typically occurs around the age of 4555 years. A female has entered menopause if at least 12 months have passed since their last period.

The years leading up to menopause are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This stage can also come with symptoms, which may last for several years sometimes up to 14 years.

This article will look at the 34 symptoms of menopause and what may help.

Menopause and perimenopause can cause a range of symptoms, including the following.

Freeze Out Night Sweats

At night, hot flashes can go on for 3 minutes or more, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. But there are ways to keep your cool. Trade the heavy flannels for light PJs. Put a bag of frozen peas under your pillow. Flip the pillow through the night and put your face on the cool side. Choose layers of light blankets over one thick quilt. Use a bedside fan to keep air moving.

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General Recommendations For Ht

Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:

  • HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
  • HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
  • Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
  • Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
  • HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.

Initiating Therapy

Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breast cancer

While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.

Discontinuing Therapy

Safety Concerns

Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:

Venous Thrombosis And Hrt

Does Menopause Cause Itching?

Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.

Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.

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Achieve And Maintain A Healthy Weight

Its common to gain weight during menopause.

This can be due to a combination of changing hormones, aging, lifestyle and genetics.

Gaining excess body fat, especially around the waist, increases your risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, your body weight may affect your menopause symptoms.

One study of 17,473 postmenopausal women found that those who lost at least 10 lbs of weight or 10% of their body weight over a year were more likely to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats (

Heres more info about losing weight during menopause.

Bottom Line:

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight may help alleviate menopause symptoms and help prevent disease.

Blast Through Mental Fog

“Use it or lose it.” That simple phrase can help you fight fuzzy thinking and stay focused during menopause. Challenge your brain in new ways. Learn something new, like a hobby or language. Lower your stress level. Women with more hot flashes — which can be linked to stress — say they have more memory troubles.

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Menopause Symptoms At Age 45

Around the age of 45 many women enter pre-menopause and start to notice the first signs that menopause is coming. For some women, the symptoms are mild and short-lasting. For others, menopause symptoms can be disruptive and long-lasting.

Some of the earliest signs of menopause may include:

Changes to your period

Period changes are usually the first signs of menopause. For example, your period may start to happen every six to eight weeks. Or you may miss a couple months before it comes back again. You may also have a heavier flow or a lighter flow from time to time.

That said, its important to know you can still get pregnant during perimenopause. So, continue to use birth control in the lead up to menopause as you normally would. Also, if youve missed your period and youre not sure whether perimenopause has started, consider taking a pregnancy test as a first step.

Mood changes

As your hormone levels change, you may find yourself more irritable, anxious, sad or forgetful than usual. Your sex drive can also decrease or increase.

These changes are very typical as your body approaches menopause. So, be kind to yourself, practice self-care and ask for help if youre having trouble.

Sleeping problems

You may find it difficult to get to sleep, or you may wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep trouble can contribute to a constant feeling of tiredness, which can make you moodier.

Who Can I Talk To

Stop The Myths

Though theres still stigma and embarrassment around the menopause, its important to know that youre not alone and theres support out there.

Try to be open about your symptoms with your partner, family and friends it can help them to understand what youre going through and could reduce any embarrassment about symptoms.

Sharing experiences with other women going through the same thing could be reassuring. There are many websites, blogs and videos online where women have shared their stories of the menopause.

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Actions For This Page

  • Menopausal symptoms can be managed with education, lifestyle changes, support and hormone replacement therapy , also known as menopausal hormone therapy .
  • In the early postmenopausal years, HRT is an effective therapy for menopausal symptoms. In most women with moderate to severe symptoms, the benefits outweigh the small increases in risk.
  • The long-term use of HRT has some benefits, but also has some risks.
  • The current role of HRT is for menopausal symptom relief, at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest duration required for the control of bothersome menopausal symptoms.
  • The decision to use HRT, and for how long it should be used, must be based on individual assessment and needs.

Memory And Concentration Problems

During perimenopause, women often complain of short-term memory problems and difficulty with concentration. Study results looking at the relationship between falling hormone levels and cognitive function have been inconsistent. Some women do believe that low dose estrogen after menopause helps them think. But the research has not supported this. Stress likely plays a more important role in memory and thinking compared to hormonal fluctuations.

Treating memory and concentration problems. Just as it isn’t clear what causes memory and concentration problems, there is no obvious remedy. Staying physically active and scheduling at least 150 minutes per week of dedicated exercise may be the best way to maintain brain health. Brain and memory experts also recommend that people work to keep their brain functioning at its peak by taking on new and interesting challenges. Use your mind in many different ways. Do crossword puzzles. Learn a new musical instrument or sport. Play chess. Read more books. Learn a new language or how to use the computer. The idea is to challenge your brain in new ways.

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