What treatment is available? Lifestyle changes, non-prescription and prescription remedies can all provide relief from menopause related body changes. To learn more about hormone therapy, check out our NetWellness feature, Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy.
- Regular exercise
- Not smoking
- Eating a healthy diet (with lots of calcium and vitamin D)
- Managing stress
- Dressing so as to remain cool in any environment
- Avoiding triggers for hot flashes (warm environments, down comforters, bright lights, spicy foods, alcohol, stressful situations)
- Kegel exercises
- Practice slow deep breathing
- Dress lightly and in layers
- Use water base lubricants
Physical activity helps many areas of your life, including mood, sleep, and heart health. Aim for:
- At least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic physical activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or some combination of the two
- Exercises that build muscle strength on two days each week
If you are not able to follow these guidelines, be as physically active as you can. Your doctor can help you decide what’s right for you.
A balanced diet will give you most of what your body needs to stay healthy. Here are a few special points to consider:
- Older people need just as many nutrients but tend to need fewer calories for energy. Learn about eating healthy after 50.
- Women over 50 need 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 and 1.5 milligrams of vitamin B6 each day. Ask your doctor if you need a vitamin supplement.
- After menopause, a woman’s calcium needs go up to maintain bone health. Women 51 and older should get 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. Vitamin D also is important to bone health. Women 51 to 70 should get 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day. Women ages 71 and older need 800 IU of vitamin D each day.
- Women past menopause who are still having vaginal bleeding because they are using menopausal hormone therapy might need extra iron.
Soy foods may be of help to some women.
Black Cohosh – Although some study results suggest that black cohosh may help relieve menopausal symptoms, other study results do not. Studies of black cohosh have yielded conflicting data, in part because of lack of rigor in study design and short study duration (6 months or less). In addition, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the fact that different amounts of black cohosh from different sources were used in the various studies and their outcome measures were different.
Vitamin E – Women use vitamin E for preventing a number of female hormonal problems including menopausal syndrome and hot flashes.
Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants for intercourse can help women with vaginal dryness and dryness with intercourse
Prescription Vaginal Estrogen Products
Prescription vaginal estrogen products can help with severe vaginal dryness. Examples include:
Vagifem vaginal estrogen tablets which are used twice a week. or Estring or Femright, a small silastic ring containing slow release estrogen that can be worn in the vagina for 3 months.
Vaginal estrogen creams such as Premarin and Estrace should be applied at around the same time of day every time you use it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use vaginal estrogen exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
A woman should discuss her individual symptoms and concerns with her doctor to determine the treatment which best fits her needs.
- Menopause – PubMed Health
- Black Cohash – Office fo Dietary Supplements
- Estrogen Vaginal – MedlinePlus.gov
For more information:
Go to the Menopause health topic.