An Even More Challenging Sexuality
Without therapy, estrogen deficiency one way or another causes the genital mucosas dryness, which can then degeneration. The woman experiences a feeling of vaginal dryness, causing discomfort during sexual relations, particularly during penetration. Since the proper balance of the vaginal flora is interrupted, she is likewise more at risk to small infections and cystitis. Does all this most likely explain why 58% of menopausal women say they no more seem like making love? Best Antidepressant For Menopause
Antidepressant May Have Role In Treating Menopause Symptoms
When menopausal women cannot or do not want to take estrogen to combat bothersome hot flashes and night sweats, antidepressants may serve as an effective alternative.
Although estrogen has long been the gold standard for treating the hot flashes and night sweats of menopause, some women are unable or unwilling to use it because of associated risks. Consequently, SSRI or SNRI antidepressantsparticularly the SNRI antidepressant venlafaxineare often prescribed as a treatment for these vasomotor symptoms.
An abstract of Low-Dose Estradiol and the Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor Venlafaxine for Vasomotor Symptoms can be accessed here.
Menopause Anger: Why Might You Experience Mood Swings In Different Menopause Stages
The emotional characteristics of perimenopause and menopause are significant. Estrogen is the hormone that takes care of most of a womans reproductive functions. When women transition to menopause, the ovaries reduce their production of estrogen. Estrogen controls the amount of serotonin being produced in the brain. Serotonin helps regulate the moods.
If estrogen production is low, serotonin levels will also be low. This impacts mental stability and optimism level. Hormonal imbalance is the main cause of mood swings and menopausal anger.
Three stages of menopause during which women experience widespread aspects of menopause mood swings include:
- Perimenopause this is the period before menopause when all the symptoms occur. Mood swings during this period take the form of extreme and sudden feelings of anxiety, panic, and anger. Women become less tolerant during this phase and get annoyed at even trivial things.
- Menopause hormonal shifts can contribute to mental fogginess.
- Postmenopause due to the extremely low levels of estrogen, there are increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
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Antidepressant May Be Hormone Alternative For Hot Flashes
6 Min Read
NEW YORK A low dose of antidepressant may be almost as effective as estrogen at reducing the number of hot flashes menopausal women have to endure, according to a new study.
Estrogen therapy is still the best way to avert the sudden feelings of overheating, sweating and occasionally palpitations the most common symptom of menopause that can strike women from once a day to once an hour, day and night.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved one antidepressant medication, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine, brand name Brisdelle, for treating hot flashes in 2013. Brisdelle, marketed as Paxil when used as an antidepressant, was the first non-hormonal option approved by the FDA.
Antidepressants are often used off-label to treat hot flashes, Dr. Hadine Joffe of the department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston told Reuters Health. But at high doses, hormones are more effective than antidepressants, she said.
Joffe led the new study, which compared venlafaxine, the generic form of the antidepressant Effexor, against a lower dose of estrogen.
In the trial, 97 women took half a milligram of low-dose estradiol daily, 96 took 75 milligrams of venlafaxine per day and 140 women took a placebo. All the study participants were menopausal or post-menopausal with an average of eight hot flashes per day at the start.
Case reports have indicated that serious withdrawal symptoms may start within hours of going off venlafaxine.
Are Antidepressants For Me
Some people are very negative about antidepressants, seeing them as a sign the person taking them has somehow failed.
Others worry that they will come with huge side effects, or be addictive leading to a life of pill popping.
How The Media Percieves Antidepressants
The media is guilty of publishing scare stories about some varieties of anti-depressants.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors like Prozac, in particular, have received bad press after it was revealed some people taking them could become suicidal, especially in the first few weeks of starting a course.
Reading past the headlines though will show that on the whole antidepressants, including SSRIs, are safe, especially when package instructions are followed to the letter.
For instance, if you read the paperwork with SSRIs it states that if the patient starts to feel worse, they should immediately seek emergency help, even if that means ringing an ambulance.
You Won’t Be Alone Millions of People Take Antidepressants
Backing away from the extreme there are millions of people across the globe who take antidepressants regularly with no drama and to great effect.
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The Risks Of Treating Menopause With Antidepressants
There are several risks involved with using antidepressants for the treatment of menopause symptoms. However, it is important to note that these risks are predominantly caused by a withdrawal from the use of antidepressants. When patients who have used antidepressants for treating their menopause symptoms decide to stop using them, they tend to develop harmful symptoms as a result of the withdrawal.
Prominent on the list of these withdrawal symptoms include increase in depression and suicidal tendencies. The risk of suicide is usually highest during the first two months after stopping the medication. The quicker the withdrawal, the more prone the patient is to experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Experts have advised that withdrawal from antidepressants be done gradually, under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner that can monitor and detect any abnormal symptoms or behaviors.
Other risks of using antidepressants for the treatment of menopause:
- Increased fall risk, resulting in an increased risk of fracture
- Increased anxiety
Antidepressant Effective For Hot Flashes
Women taking a low dose of the antidepressant escitalopram had fewer and less severe hot flashes than those taking a placebo, a new clinical trial reports.
Menopause is a transition that affects many women as they approach age 50. It marks the end of menstrual periods and fertility. It can also bring hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood changes and other symptoms.
Menopausal hormone therapy has long been the predominant treatment for menopausal symptoms. However, its use has greatly declined since 2002, when a large NIH-funded study concluded that the overall risks of menopausal hormone therapy likely outweigh the benefits. The therapy increases the risk in some women of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer.
No other treatments for menopausal hot flashes currently have FDA approval. Recent studies suggest that certain anti-depressant medications may be effective for relieving hot flashes, but the results have been inconclusive.
Dr. Ellen W. Freeman at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and her colleagues enrolled over 200 healthy menopausal or postmenopausal women. The women were given either a daily dose of escitalopram or a placebo for 8 weeks. The researchers tracked the number, severity and irritation of their hot flashes. The trial was funded by NIHs National Institute on Aging and several other NIH components.
by Amy Alabaster
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Hot Flashes And Antidepressants: What Are The Risks
Sexual disorders. Loss of libido and inability to reach orgasm can occur with SSRI or SNRI treatment, although women also report those problems during menopause. Speak with your physician if you experience a change in sexual desire or performance after you start taking the drug.Serotonin syndrome. This rare but life-threatening reaction happens most often when two drugs that raise serotonin in the brain are used at the same time, causing confusion, hallucinations, loss of coordination, fever, rapid heart rate, and vomiting. Avoid the use of older antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, migraine headache medicines called triptans , tryptophan supplements, herbal products like St. John’s wort, over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan, and prescription painkillers like meperidine .Suicidal behavior. Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide in people younger than 25. But no matter what your age, if you are thinking about hurting yourself, talk with your doctor.Common side effects. They include headaches, nausea, anxiety, dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, drowsiness, and dizziness, but they might be temporary.
Dont Overlook The Specialist
Your gynecologist is the very best person to speak to about menopausal symptoms, so why do so many women just grin and bear it? There are ways to reduce or eliminate certain symptoms and return to a more normal life.
Capital Womens Care can help you get beyond this period of your life with as few hiccups as possible and without major disruptions.
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Best Herbs For Anxiety And Depression During Menopause
Most women experience menopause after the age of 40 and spend a third of their life in this phase. It is a natural and important part of any womans life. Still, that doesnt always make it easy to deal with.
The changes that come with menopause affect a womans life physically and emotionally. The most recognizable changes are hot flashes, mood swings, and restless nights. But, what many people may not realize, is that menopause may also bring with it ANXIETY, PANICATTACKS and DEPRESSION.
Menopause Insomnia And Alcohol
Its tempting to use alcohol to relax and feel sleepy, especially after a hard day. But using alcohol at bedtime will actually erode the quality of your sleep. It can also lead to tolerance, requiring more and more to achieve the same effect. And it can be dangerous, even deadly, to combine alcohol with sleep medications.
So, steer clear of alcohol for sleep. It causes more problems than it solves.
Remember these points if you want to treat your insomnia successfully:
- If you are on any regular medication, check first to see whether sleep disturbance is a side effect. If it is, talk to your doctor about other choices.
- Treat any underlying causes of your sleep problems. If youre anxious or depressed, or if you have ongoing pain, there may be ways to treat these problems and eliminate your sleep troubles.
- Use medications as a last resort, after you have tried other methods for dealing with your sleeplessness.
No doubt about it, you need your sleep. Menopause offers enough challenges all by itself, and insomnia can make it seem impossible to manage. Find the best way to get to sleep and stay asleep so you will have the energy to meet your day, every day.
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How Can Antidepressants Help My Symptoms
There is a wide range of antidepressants available, and some of them are occasionally used not just to relieve depression or anxiety but to combat other menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Antidepressants prescribed for menopause may include:
Your physician may prescribe you a low dosage at the beginning to help manage symptoms.
Doctors will often recommend antidepressants for these symptoms if estrogen supplements have proved unsuccessful or if there is a reason the woman affected cant or wont use hormone replacement therapy and other non-supplement methods have been ineffective.
If antidepressants are advised to alleviate depression, stress or anxiety, many types can be taken alongside hormone replacement therapy.
Your doctor will discuss options with you some antidepressants cost more than others, some are more suitable to be taken alongside other medications.
Discovering The Best Treatment For Menopausal Depression
It takes a great deal of expertise to unpack all the potential risk factors for a woman who experiences depression during perimenopause. Thats why the best treatment for menopausal depression might be different for every individual. But regardless of what may be causing your depression, a comprehensive approach to treatment will likely be the best path forward.
If you are just beginning your journey, your goal should be to collect all the information you possibly can about your symptoms and their possible causes. Have a full physical done by a trusted health care practitioner, including comprehensive blood tests to identify health conditions that may be affecting your mood. Meet with a psychiatrist to discuss a possible diagnosis and their treatment recommendations. Have your hormone levels tested by a specialist in hormonal health. With a complete picture of your physiological and psychological health in place, you can determine what the next steps should be.
All things considered, there is plenty of hope for women who struggle with menopause-related depression. There is a wide range of psychotropic medications on the market proven effective for treating depression, and psychotherapeutic modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy are known to reduce depression in menopausal women. Treating sleep disturbances and engaging in mind-body practices like yoga and meditation can also help alleviate symptoms.
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How To Choose The Best Menopause Supplements
Because most BDS for menopause symptoms rely on similar ingredients, youll want to focus on the product manufacturer and quality when choosing your product.
When choosing top rated menopause supplements, make sure that the product manufacturer is reliable and trustworthy. You can easily determine a manufacturers trustworthiness by looking at the info provided on their website.
Is there a physical address and contact information?
Are there any details regarding product manufacturing?
The more information was given, the higher the possibility that you are dealing with a responsible company that does not sell ineffective and contaminated products.
You also need to look carefully at the product description, the ingredients listed, and the studies behind their efficiency. When it comes to buying health products, taking safety precautions is of utmost importance.
Menopause And Depression: How Are They Connected
Although most women transition to menopause without experiencing psychiatric disorders, an estimated 20% suffer from mood swings and depression at some point during menopause.
There is a well-established connection between changes of various hormonal systems and psychiatric health issues, both in psychiatric and endocrine patients. The transition into perimenopause and menopause may be a tempestuous experience for some women. Modifications in hormone levels may impact neurotransmitters in the brain.
The reduction in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, like vaginal dryness, irregular periods, hot flashes and disturbed sleep. These causes menopausal and perimenopausal depression symptoms like low mood, anxiety, irritability, fears, and mood swings. Menopause mood swings can wreak havoc on your psyche. The irritability caused due to menopause depression may also result in difficulty in concentrating and memory lapses.
Women who had severe premenstrual syndrome in their younger years may experience severe, sharp and inexplicable changes in mood during perimenopause. Also, females with a history of clinical anxiety and depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurring clinical depression during menopausal months or even years before actual menopause.
Women transitioning to menopause are found to suffer more depression with the following states:
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Natural Remedies For Menopausal Depression
The use of natural remedies offers the benefit of avoiding side effects and other factors in treating depression. Practicing yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery can help treat menopausal depression. These self-care techniques help women in feeling peaceful and comfortable.
When combating depression, natural remedies offer relief at a lower cost than other forms of treatment. For some women, certain herbal and dietary supplements can work well. Although marketed as natural antidepressants, its important to note that the use of these supplements may also have side effects or severe reactions when combined with certain medications.
Here are a few herbal supplements for menopausal depression:
Understanding supplement safety can help women avoid the severe effects of taking supplements. While herbal and dietary supplements offer many health benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. You might need to know the side effects and consult a medical professional before using these supplements to treat menopausal depression.
A Word From Betterfemales
As women, our bodies undergo many changes throughout our lives. The transition to menopause can be difficult, and there isnt a one-size-fits-all solution for menopausal depression. Hormonal therapy, psychotherapy, and antidepressants are the standard treatments for those with menopausal depression. Besides, natural remedies like supplements and healthy lifestyles, such as adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise, can actively help you cope with menopausal depression. Anyway, it is vital to develop a proper treatment plan and have a sound support system to help you through the process.
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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.
What Should You Know About Antidepressants For Women In Their Middle Life
You should know that the hormones that control your menstrual and menopause cycles also influence the levels of brain chemicals that promote feelings of calm, well-being, and happiness. With all the hormonal changes that happen at menopause, the change in brain chemicals can lead to increased irritability, anxiety, and depression.
During perimenopause, falling hormone levels can trigger mood swings that make a woman less able to cope with events that she would normally let roll off her back. If left untreated, these hormonal dips can set off deep mood disorders and lead to depression. Unfortunately, many women do not recognize that anxiety, mood swings, and depression are all likely symptoms of peri- and menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy and antidepressants can help reduce peri- and menopause sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, and depression. By treating the underlying source of these problems, which are menopausal hormone changes, you can start to feel rested, happier, and healthier.2,3,4
All women are used to dealing with hormonal changes. Whether it is puberty, your monthly cycle, postpartum , perimenopause, or menopause, women deal with the ups and downs of hormones for most of their lives. Because of these fluctuations, women are at a higher risk for depression than men. These hormone changes make women twice as likely as men to develop depression.
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