Tips for Menopause Treatment
As you enter your early 40s, you may find yourself asking what are the best peri- and menopausal treatments. There are some very effective forms of natural menopause relief and hot flash medication that can help you feel your best. Menopause support can vary from home remedies for vaginal dryness to prescription medication for other symptoms.1 Both types of treatments can work very effectively together.
What are the Common Symptoms of Menopause?
Starting in your 30s or 40s, you will produce less of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This stage is called perimenopause. Eventually, with the continued drop of these hormones’ levels, your menstrual periods will stop, and menopause will officially begin.2
With perimenopause, suddenly waking up at night in a sweat, or having heavy, irregular periods can be a new normal. But just like every woman is unique, so are her peri- and menopause symptoms. Some women feel overwhelmed by hot flashes and exhausted by disrupted sleep, while others have no obvious symptoms. The average duration of perimenopause is 3-4 years but can range from a few months to 10 years. Once you have 12 consecutive months without a period – then menopause begins.
Perimenopause starts much earlier than you might expect. About 10% of women go through perimenopause before they turn 40 due to the drop of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. While it may be difficult to admit that you are moving into perimenopause, denial will also prevent you from achieving the relief opportunities and benefits of effective treatments.
Effective treatments can relieve symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, weight gain, mood swings, hair loss, wrinkles, low libido, painful sex, vaginal irritation, insomnia, joint pain, UTIs, and depression.2-5 If this hormonal drop with age is not corrected, women are at a greater risk of heart attack, diabetes, colon & breast cancer, stroke, bone disease, dementia, and even suicide.2
The good news is that peri- and menopause have been studied for over 60 years. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is the best natural remedy and most effective treatment for many peri and menopause symptoms. Scientists have yet to identify a more effective remedy for perimenopause symptoms, specifically hot flashes treatment, than HRT.2-4
As we learn more about reproductive aging, we are able to provide specific, effective treatment options. HRT can restore proper hormone balance by using bioidentical hormones that are indistinguishable from what the body used to produce at appropriate levels.
10 Tips for Your Menopause Symptoms and Treatments:
Hot Flashes (Vasomotor symptoms) Hot flashes are likely the most obvious sign of peri- and menopause. They are caused by a decreased production of the hormone estrogen. Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, creating flushing and sweating, especially on the face and upper body. Although HRT is the most effective treatment, other helpful tips include:
Avoiding triggers such as warm weather, hot beverages, and spicy foods.
Keep a record of your hot flashes to figure out what may be triggering them.
Dress in layers so you can remove clothes as needed.
Some antidepressants (SSRIs or SNRIs) can help reduce hot flashes.
Yoga and slow deep breathing techniques may help.
Night Sweats & Sleep Disorders
Severe hot flashes with sweating that occur during sleep are ‘night sweats.’ When women experience severe night sweats, it can cause sleep disruptions and lead to increased irritability, depression, and weight gain. Beyond night sweats, the drop in hormones can cause women to wake up many times during the night, tossing, turning, and suffering from insomnia.
For night sweats beyond HRT treatment, women can think about their type of bedding and find sheets and looser-fitting sleepwear that are cool such as cotton, and blankets that are easy to remove. Some women have tried a ‘chill pillow’ filled with water. An old favorite is a fan or multiple fans.
Weight Gain & Metabolism Changes Hormonal changes during perimenopause influence weight gain and the redistribution of fat. With perimenopause, the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone decrease dramatically. A decrease in testosterone can lead to less lean muscle and increased fatigue. The combination of less muscle with fatigue can result in a decreased metabolic rate (need fewer calories/day). HRT can revitalize metabolism and help weight loss.
Irregular periods and heavy bleeding HRT or Low-dose birth control pills can help reduce bleeding by modulating menstrual flow, regulate periods, and stabilize the endometrium or uterine lining. Oral contraceptives can be taken until menopause. Abnormal bleeding should be evaluated by an in-person doctor visit.
Skin & Hair Changes When hormone levels drop as you age, it shows in your skin, hair, and even fingernails. Collagen is what keeps skin toned, fresh-looking, and resilient. As hormones drop, so does collagen production. As you age, you may notice your skin getting thinner, drier, less youthful-looking, and those small wrinkles deepening. HRT can help correct the drop in hormones and help your skin to remain youthful.
Fatigue & Achy Joints Joint pain is one of the most common symptoms of aging. It is often related to the effects of fluctuating hormone levels on the immune system. Estrogen helps prevent inflammation in the joints, so when estrogen levels drop with perimenopause you will likely start noticing increased inflammation and joint pain.
Loss of Sex Drive & Vaginal Dryness/Atrophy As women age, the main cause of low sex drive and vaginal changes are hormonal imbalances. Libido can also be impacted by other symptoms such as vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, and/or depression.
When estrogen levels drop, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, less elastic and the vagina can become smaller. Lack of lubrication can lead to sex becoming uncomfortable, and the vagina is frequently itchy, easily irritated, and more prone to infections.
HRT and vaginal estrogen cream can help relieve vaginal dryness and elasticity. Continued sexual activity will improve vaginal tone and lubricants can make intercourse less painful.
Mood Swings, Anxiety, Irritability, and Depression Perimenopausal mood swings are very common. Depression, anxiety, and irritability during perimenopause can be caused by the sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, which reduces the production of chemicals responsible for mood regulation, called serotonin and dopamine.
You can use HRT to suppress the erratic hormonal ups and downs. Women on HRT report feeling more even-tempered. Fixing the underlying hormonal imbalance is one of the most effective ways of reducing perimenopausal mood swings. It is vitally important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional to help mitigate mood changes before depression occurs.
Difficulty with Concentration, Memory, Fogginess, and Even Dizziness Many women are alarmed to discover they have trouble remembering things, experience mental blocks, or have difficulty concentrating as they age. This can be concerning and can adversely impact their daily life. Caused by fluctuating hormone levels, women can experience a dizzying spinning sensation, that can include feelings of light-headedness or unsteadiness.
Incontinence Estrogen replacement can return the vaginal tissue to a more youthful state and give better support to the bladder and urethra. This can go a long way to improve urinary incontinence. Incontinence as women age can be divided into three types. Like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels drop, vaginal tissues that have the job of supporting the bladder and urethra become thin and weaker. These changes can create the following:
Stress Incontinence – you pee while laughing, coughing, sneezing, or with exertion which happens when the internal muscles fail due to age, surgery, or childbirth.
Urge Incontinence – you are trying to ‘hold it,’ but your bladder doesn’t listen and empties.
Overflow Incontinence – you are not aware your bladder is full and accidentally urinate.
Other Menopause Treatments
Menopause symptoms can be treated and tamed. Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the number, and severity of symptoms and contribute toward overall feelings of wellness:
Exercise can improve metabolism, energy levels, and joint health and reduce hot flashes which can greatly improve physical and mental health. It can also help treat osteoporosis. Women who are sedentary suffer more from perimenopause symptoms.
Yoga, meditation, and relaxation can help reduce menopause symptoms.
Quit smoking. Smoking leads to more hot flashes and is linked to early menopause.
Acupuncture may help to limit the severity and frequency of symptoms.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help to minimize menopausal symptoms. Women who are overweight tend to have more trouble with hot flashes, sleep, and anxiety.
Practice deep breathing exercises in the morning and evening.
There are other options for women who are not candidates for hormone replacement due to their medical history. Focusing on a healthful diet, regular exercise, and using menopause-focused multivitamins can all help reduce perimenopause symptoms.
Each woman’s nutrient needs change with age so it is important to choose supplements that are tailored for their age. Women in perimenopause have to be proactive about regularly taking key vitamins and minerals.
The truth is, the best way to get necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are through a well-balanced and colorful diet, but most people’s diets have gaps. If not consistently reaching the daily nutritional requirements, women could be missing out on vital elements their bodies need to help lessen or alleviate everything from hot flashes to mood swings, and to protect them from cardiovascular disease, and mental declines. Multivitamins can ensure that all of the needed nutrients are provided daily.2Winona provides safe, regulated vitamin supplements that are specially designed to ease menopausal symptoms, and support healthy aging.
Herbal Supplements: Many women try herbal supplements to manage their menopause symptoms including the root of Black Cohosh, Soy, and flaxseed. While these herbal supplements are sold widely, Winona does not suggest using them. Botanicals and herbs may have side effects, poor oversight, or change how other medications work. If you feel the need to try natural remedies for your symptoms, communicate with your physician about use.
Prescription menopause relief. Delivered.
All of these symptoms can adversely impact a woman’s life, but effective menopause treatments, like hormone replacement therapy (HRT), are available to help you to embrace this stage as a positive beginning. With menopause support from Winona, you have the opportunity to take preventive action against health risks associated with the ever-decreasing hormones as we age. It can be done by using natural menopause relief in the form of HRT and other natural remedies.
There are ways to treat the often-chronic symptoms with hot flash medication and home remedies for vaginal dryness. Winona encourages women to try various treatment options whether HRT, diet, or lifestyle changes to identify what works best for them. Perimenopause is a positive beginning, with the opportunity to take preventive action against major health risks associated with the decreasing hormones associated with menopause.
Hormone replacement is a safe and physiologically natural way for you to regain your vitality, and HRT can restore proper hormone levels using substances that are bioidentical to those produced by your own body. Winona’s healthcare platform is a place to safely connect with a healthcare provider to receive care, to ask sometimes difficult and maybe even embarrassing questions.
The decision to treat and whether to prescribe a product available through Winona is up to the patient and their Winona-affiliated providers who are all licensed, board-certified, and never financially motivated to prescribe. We believe that if women embrace their evolving bodies by providing the nutrients their body needs they can move through this sometimes precarious phase with grace and wellness.
“This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.”