How To Reduce Menopause Symptoms?
Menopause is a natural part of ageing. Menopause is diagnosed when you have gone without a menstrual period for twelve consecutive months. Hormonal changes that occur in menopause can cause symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day activities. Menopause symptoms can start months or even years before your periods gets stopped and will last for around 2 years. Some women experience them for longer periods. Here are the treatment options and lifestyle changes that help reduce menopause symptoms.
Management Of Menopause Symptoms
A.) Hormonal therapy and other medicines in menopause management:
Most menopause symptoms are caused by low levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormonal therapy is the effective treatment that replaces the hormone levels and helps relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irritability, mood swings, and hair loss. Your physician will prescribe the lowest dose of estrogen, commonly as pills. It can also be given as skin patches, vaginal creams, gel, or spray.
The doctor might prescribe estrogen alone or in combination with progesterone based on the condition of the women. Besides managing symptoms, hormonal therapy also helps prevent menopause-related osteoporosis (thinning of bones). The health care professional will discuss the benefits and risks of hormonal therapy to help you decide whether the therapy is suitable for you.
In people who are not suitable for hormonal therapy, the doctor might prescribe some other medications to manage symptoms. Antidepressant medications such as venlafaxine, paroxetine, and fluoxetine can help manage mood swings and hot flashes.
B.) Tips for dealing with 7 common menopause symptoms:
Hot flashes and night sweats:
Almost 75% of menopausal women experience hot flashes. They may vary in frequency and intensity for each woman and usually wane off overtime on their own. Here are the ways to deal with hot flashes. Certain things could trigger hot flashes, such as spicy foods, caffeine, smoking, tight clothing, hot weather, anxiety, or alcohol. If you can identify your own trigger, you can prevent some hot flashes.
Wear cotton clothing and lingerie that allow your skin to breathe. Managing body weight and stress levels can help manage hot flashes. Take a cool shower or try drinking a glass of juice or cold water when the flash starts.
Bladder control issues are common in people going through menopause. People might experience leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, or lifting heavy objects. Discomfort during the urination and the need to urinate more often in the night may also occur.
Try to hold the urine for five minutes when you feel the urge to urinate. Slowly increase the holding period by 5 minutes each week. This bladder training may help manage urinary urgency. Avoid drinking tea, coffee, alcohol, and citrus juices as they can increase the amount of urine the kidney produces. Performing Kegel exercises can be effective in urinary leakage.
Some women experience emotional changes such as irritability, mood swings, or mild depression around menopause. Getting enough sleep, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can help you improve your mood.
Poor overall health and history of depression can worsen the emotional changes. You can try to develop new hobbies or relaxing activities such as tai chi or yoga. Talk to the people who are also going through or have gone through menopause which will be a great relief for many.
If lifestyle changes don't work, your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medications or recommend cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that improves mood by changing how you think and behave.
Your doctor may prescribe vaginal creams that help relieve vaginal dryness. Over-the-counter silicone or water-based lubricants and moisturizers can also be used to relieve vaginal dryness. Being sexually active will decrease vaginal discomfort by enhancing the blood flow to the vagina. Avoid hesitation and discuss how you feel to know the best options for your symptoms with your health care professional.
Menopause itself or the emotional changes and hot flashe due to menopause can cause sleeping troubles. If hot flashes or emotional changes are your cause, managing them helps improve your sleep.
You can also follow certain practices which may ease sleep problems. Take a shower before going to bed and keep the bedroom well-ventilated. Try going to bed at the same time each night and avoid taking naps during the day.
You may have unusually heavy or light periods, and you may not have them for 2 or 3 months, or you may have them every 2 or 3 weeks. Your physician may prescribe birth control pills (estrogen and progesterone) to regularise your periods and control heavy flow.
Progestogen can help manage intermittent bleeding. Taking over-the-counter medicines such as naproxen and ibuprofen can relieve the pain in some women and consult your doctor before taking it.. Apply heat to the stomach or back to manage cramps and muscle pain.
Dry skin and hair:
Declining estrogen levels and skin’s capability to retain water are the reasons behind dry skin and hair. Use moisturizers and hair conditioners, particularly in dry winter months. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher when going outside. Soap can dry the mature skin. Use a mild cleanser instead of soap. Consider using a skincare product containing peptides or retinol to prevent sagging skin or wrinkles.
Healthy Lifestyle, A Secret Way For Happy Living After Menopause
Healthy practices such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and controlling weight are not new and definitely not specific to menopause. A healthy lifestyle keeps the body healthy, and a healthy body helps reduce menopause symptoms easily and keeps the rest of your life smooth.