Some women sail through menopause, while others have symptoms that interfere with sleep, relationships, and other daily life activities. Menopause marks the end of your childbearing years, when you haven’t had your menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.
The average age of menopause in the United States is 51, but most women start to experience symptoms before they reach menopause and afterward. Common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Sleep problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
At the Center for Women’s Health, we can help reduce bothersome menopause symptoms with effective treatment options. Here are some of our top treatment options that our founder, Sharon Breit, MD, and her expert medical team offer.
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered the gold standard of menopause treatment therapies.
As you approach and enter menopause, your hormone levels fluctuate and then drop. This change in hormone levels, particularly estrogen, is responsible for many of the most problematic menopause symptoms.
Replacing or balancing your hormone levels with HRT can help relieve hot flashes and vaginal dryness and prevent bone loss. But depending on your medical history, HRT may not be a good option for you.
Certain antidepressants have been shown to reduce hot flashes. They’re a good choice if you can’t take HRT and also need help with mood swings and depression.
If your most troubling symptoms are vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, then a topical estrogen cream, tablet, or ring may help. Vaginal estrogen can help relieve these symptoms with a small amount of estrogen.
Gabapentin is a medication used to treat seizures, but it can also reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. This prescription drug is also a good option for women who have severe hot flashes but can’t or don’t want to take HRT.
This prescription drug is commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine is also a good option to treat hot flashes for women who don’t want to take hormones.
For moderate menopause symptoms, you can make healthy changes to your lifestyle to help reduce or manage symptoms:
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
Some simple dietary changes you can make are to avoid spicy food and to limit alcohol and caffeine, which can exacerbate symptoms. Lowering the temperature in your room at night and dressing in layers can help you manage hot flashes.
Are menopause symptoms interfering with your life? Call us at the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, to make an appointment today or request an appointment online through this website.
Telehealth appointments are available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.