Menopause is the transition period towards the new phase or cycle of a woman’s life. During this menopause stage your period flow and frequency changes than its normal period cycles as you have had as of date. This is because now your body is preparing to end the menstrual cycle completely. In this process you will develop different signs and symptoms which are in many cases are annoying and bothersome whereas some women remain unaffected with these symptoms.
Though menopause signs are not an indication for any health issues but as some of its symptoms are extremely bothersome to tolerate so you may need proper and effective menopause treatment which will help you in getting through this another journey of your life more beautifully and peacefully.
As your body is going through substantial changes in your hormonal balance so you are likely to notice different physical and mental level changes and symptoms such as frequent mood swings, anxiety, depression, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, lack of libido, and vaginal dryness.
The menopause usually begins somewhere between the 40s to 55 years of women in developed countries in the world. However, the average menopausal age is 51 years. Whereas in some cases women experience menopausal symptoms at very early ages of their life like after 35 to 40. The early age menopausal symptoms are triggered by some underlying medical health issues, prior removal of ovaries or other such treatments.
The menopausal symptoms may last for several years like for 10 years or even more than that in some cases before your menstruation ends completely. The symptoms of menopause are not similar to every other woman. Again its severity range also differs from one woman to another. However, the good news is that there are many ways to tackle with these signs and symptoms. Some women enjoy this journey considering liberation from the monthly issues of period and remain active both in between the transition and afterward phase of menopause.
Whereas for some women living their day to day life gets more struggling as they fail in tackling different menopausal stages signs and symptoms and needs medical help for quick relief. In such cases, there are many effective medical treatment measures that help in going through this transition stage of your life in a much comfortable way so that you can easily maintain your lifestyle routine.
Stages of Menopause
The menopause stage overall can last for several years which consist of three stages in between this journey-
This is your transition time which begins before menopause and includes the 12 months that follow your last normal period cycle.
The menopause stage starts either 12 months after your last period cycle, or from the date by which your period cycle has stopped for some medical reasons such as the removal of ovaries, etc.
As its name suggests this is the stage after the ending of your menopause cycle. Once a woman enters into this particular stage then she will never get her period in her whole lifetime. However, it is difficult to exactly determine that when your menopause actually finished and the postmenopause started.
Menopause is not a disease instead it is a usual phase of a woman's life journey in which her reproductive age and ability are about to end. So it doesn’t require any special diagnosis or treatment to cure it. Instead, the focus of treatment measures remains on relieving its different signs and symptoms. As well as, it helps in preventing your risk of chronic conditions that develop with aging such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity. Treatments that are given during the menopause stage of a woman includes-
Hormonal therapy such as estrogen therapy helps in relieving the most common and annoying menopausal symptom that is hot flashes. In this particular menopause symptoms treatment technique on the basis of your personal as well as family medical history, your doctor will prescribe you the lowest doses of estrogen medications.
It requires a very little amount of time to relieve you from the hot flashes issues or other menopausal symptoms associated with hormones imbalance. Women who still have uterus may require progestin along with estrogen. The estrogen therapy also helps in preventing bone loss which is another issue associated with menopause.
However, the long term usage of hormone therapy contains the risk of heart diseases and some types of cancer. So your doctor will discuss all the pros and cons of this treatment method. Still, the application of this therapy for short duration especially in the initial stage of menopause is effective in relieving different menopausal stage issues.
Vaginal dryness and sexual dysfunction are very common problems that occur during the menopause stage. These common vaginal issues can be well relieved with the help of vaginal estrogen. In such cases for relieving the vaginal dryness, an estrogen rich vaginal cream or ring or tablet is directly applied into the vagina which is totally safe and effective.
After the application of these vaginal medicated products very small amount of estrogen is released out of it which is easily absorbed by the vaginal tissues. The application of this treatment method help in getting rid of vaginal dryness, pain, and discomforts during intercourse and some type of urinary discomforts.
Medication for Osteoporosis
Women who have developed bone loss or osteoporosis bone disease or are at risk of developing this bone disease are prescribed with medications for treating and preventing osteoporosis. The doctors prescribe medications to improve bone strength and density. This can be in drugs form or even in the form of Vitamin D supplements which is a vital nutrient needed for your strong and healthy bones health.
Low-doses Antidepressant Medications
Low-doses antidepressant medications are prescribed to menopausal women in order to relieve the hot flashes issue. These medications usually belong to the class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which are very effective and safe for treating menopausal hot flashes problem.
Apart from this mood swings and other mental health issues associated with this particular stage of life can also be well managed with these anti-depressant medications. These medications are especially more beneficial for women who cannot take hormone therapy due to some underlying health issues.
Clonidine medications such as Catapres, Kapvay, etc comes in the pill or patch form are used for the treatment of high blood pressure. However, it may also relieve the menopausal hot flashes problem.
Gabapentin medications such as Neurontin, Gralise, etc are approved medication for the treatment of seizures disease. However, it is also shown effective in the treatment of hot flashes problem. This medication is very effective for the women who can’t take estrogen therapy but facing nighttime hot flashes problem.
Consult with your doctor properly before deciding on your own to take any treatment measure suddenly. After considering all risk factors, benefits and your current health status a doctor will suggest any treatment option which they will start only at your approval.
Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies
In most of the cases, menopause symptoms begin in the late 40s or early 50s of a woman’s life. Before your period cycle ends completely you need to go through its transition phase towards the ending of this cycle which means your reproductive age is ending. This can last for few years to several years depending upon at what age your period started actually and how early you started developing your menopausal symptoms which are very annoying one and often interferes with your lifestyle routine.
In this period about one-third of women experiences its symptoms which can be well managed with some positive changes in your lifestyle routine as well as with the help of some effective home remedies which are known for relieving different menopausal symptoms.
Reduce and Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Gaining weight during the menopause stage is a very common phenomenon. This particularly happens because of a combination of factors such as hormonal changes, genetics, aging, and lifestyle. Gaining excessive body weight especially in your waistline areas increases your risk for diabetes and heart diseases which are two major health problems. Apart from this, women who are obese or overweight are likely to stimulate their menopause symptoms intensity much greater.
So to overcome the menopause symptoms and to reduce their intensity reduce your weight and maintain it to a healthy level. It is found in a study report that women who reduced their weight by 10% of their overall body weight manage to get rid of many menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, etc.
Reduce Vaginal Discomforts
Vaginal dryness is a very common symptom of menopause stage which makes the intercourse activity very painful and pleasures less. However, you can well increase the moistness in your vagina with the application of over-the-counter lotions or creams, silicone-based lubricants, and water-based vaginal lubricants or moisturizer.
While choosing vaginal products to ease its discomfort make sure that you pick products that don’t contain glycerin as it can cause irritation and burning sensation especially in women who are sensitive to this ingredient. Vaginal discomforts also arise due to lack of appropriate blood flow in the vaginal area which can be ease out by staying more sexually active.
Avoid the Consumption of Trigger Foods
The consumption of certain foods may trigger some of the menopausal stage symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. Especially when you consume them during the night as most prominent menopause symptoms occur during nights only so they elevate after the intake of trigger foods.
Foods that are known for triggering symptoms include sugary or spicy foods intake, caffeine and alcohol intake, etc. So in order to relieve your symptoms avoid the intake of these trigger foods. It will be better that you maintain a trigger diary to note down when and at what circumstances your symptoms got elevated and when it reduced.
Try to avoid your triggers completely to get rid of menopause symptoms however if it is not possible for you to eliminate them completely then reduce their consumption limit to a moderate level.
Eat More Calcium and Vitamin D Rich Foods
Due to major changes in the balance of the hormone many women during menopause remain at risk of developing osteoporosis a chronic bone disease. This particularly happens because hormonal changes make your bones weaker over time that not only affects your health but also day to day life routine seems very struggling. So it is vital that you proactively take a step to maintain your bone’s strength and density.
For this, increase your intake of more calcium and vitamin D rich foods which are two essential nutrients needed for improving and maintaining your bone's health naturally. With the necessary vitamin D intake in food, a woman can easily prevent her risk of postmenopausal hip fracture that occurs due to weak bones. Some common food sources of calcium nutrients include milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
Apart from these dairy food sources, green leafy veggies are also rich in calcium content such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. Other than that some cereals, fruit juices, tofu, sardines, and beans are other easy sources of calcium. In order to get enough vitamin D for your bone’s health sunlight is the most ideal source for this essential vitamin.
Usually, human skin is capable of producing vitamin D when it comes to the contact of the sun but with age, this efficiency diminishes naturally. So in your older age when you are going through your menopause stage of life, you can fulfill the scarcity of vitamin d through its supplements and some food sources such as eggs, fish, cod liver and fortified foods with vitamin D.
Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
You can relieve and reduce the intensity and frequency of your menopausal symptoms by following a healthy diet routine rich in more fresh fruits and vegetables. There could be no better source of essential nutrients for your body than the fruits and vegetables. With regular intake of multicolor fruits as well as veggies you can prevent many menopausal symptoms.
The other benefit of including fruits and veggies in your meal is that they are very low in calorie content and make you feel fuller even with their small doses. This means a perfect diet for weight loss goal which is another necessity for preventing and relieving the menopausal symptoms.
Also, these healthy diets intake will reduce your risk of major disease growth associated with post-menopause stages such as diabetes and heart diseases. The reason why your risk of heart disease increases after the menopause stage are some influencing factors such as your age, excessive weight gain and substantial reduction of estrogen hormone in the body. Also with saving you from menopause stage symptoms, the consumption of more fruits and vegetables also prevents bone loss or breakdown risk.
Eat More Phytoestrogens Rich Foods
During the menopause stage, the level of estrogen hormones in the body naturally reduces which leads to many signs and symptoms that affect your health in different ways. However, the scarcity of this essential hormone in the body can be well replenished with more phytoestrogens rich foods intake.
Phytoestrogens are a naturally growing plant compound that mimics the estrogen effect in your body. Hence the consumption of more phytoestrogens rich foods can help you in balancing your hormones and to get rid of different signs and symptoms that grow as a result of hormonal imbalance.
As per one study report women who consume more phytoestrogens rich foods in their meal hardly face hot flashes issue which is a very common menopausal stage symptom. Some common food sources of phytoestrogens are flaxseeds, tofu, beans, sesame seeds, linseeds, tempeh, soybeans, and soy products.
Another study report says that the consumption of more soy-rich diets helps the menopausal women in getting rid of night sweats, hot flashes issues, as well as reduces the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure level.
The content of phytoestrogens in a diet depends upon its processing method used in its preparation. For improved health and for reducing the severity of menopause symptoms always prefer using the real food sources of phytoestrogens instead of depending upon its supplement sources.
Women who exercise regularly often experience less severe or moderate symptoms during their menopause stage. This is because when you exercise regularly it plays an important role in balancing your hormonal balance which is the primary health area that gets affected during this phase of life.
However, there is no evidence to support whether exercising is effective for the treatment of night sweats and hot flashes two common menopausal issues. Still following a fixed exercise routine before and during your menopause stage of life provides you with many health benefits. Some common benefits of exercising during your menopause stage include healthier bones and joints, improved metabolism and energy level, reduction in stress level and better sleep pattern thereon.
As per one study report conducted on menopausal women, it is found that women who exercised at least three hours a week, throughout the year have better mental and physical health compared to those women who do not exercise in this period at all. Apart from these benefits, regular exercise helps in preventing major health problems such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity.
Drink Plenty Amount of Water
The decreased level of estrogen in the body during the menopause stage causes dehydration and dryness issues in women. This badly affects their skin health which can easily be noticed as well as other health problems appear as a result of dehydration. So to avoid all these problems make sure that you drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water every day without failing to keep yourself fully hydrated.
Bloating issues associated with hormonal changes can also be reduced to a great extent by drinking plenty amount of water every day. Also with plenty of water intake, you can also reduce your excess body weight and maintain it to a healthy level. Excessive water intake can fill your stomach easily hence your cravings especially for unhealthy snacks automatically reduces. Also, it helps in reducing your portion size.
All these changes are helpful in reducing and maintaining your body weight to a desired healthy level. When your body remains well hydrated your energy level automatically remains high, hence you won’t have to suffer from chronic fatigue or mood swings related issues which are very common problems of the menopause stage.
Apart from these remedies you can take the help of home massage, wear dresses in layers, drink a cold glass of water or go out in open air, practice a relaxation technique such as deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation to relieve your menopausal symptoms.
Not every other menopausal woman needs any kind of treatment or home remedies as the signs and symptoms of this transition phase automatically disappear or reduces with time. However when the symptoms are unbearable and interfere with your day to day life routine then don’t hesitate in taking necessary medical help and support as there are many effective menopause treatment techniques, as well as home remedies discussed above that, can make your journey smoother and comfortable one.View Article Sources