Symptoms Of The Menopause

The menopause is a natural process, which occurs when you get older; however, this doesn't mean that it comes without any difficulties and many women have a hard time when they are approaching the menopause and preparing for the end of their menstrual cycle. The menopause and the stage prior to the menopause, the perimenopause, cause various symptoms, which can be very unpleasant, and treatments and tips can help to make life easier and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Here are some of the ways you can manage symptoms at home and with the help of your GP:

Self-help: there are often things you can do at home and when you're out an about to ease symptoms of the menopause and boost your mood and your general health. These include:

  • wearing light and loose clothing in bed and ensuring your bedroom is airy and cool
  • avoiding tight clothing and man-made fibres
  • keeping a hot flush diary to enable you to spot triggers
  • doing regular exercise (this helps to boost your mood, as well as improving circulation, which may help with hot flushes)
  • tackling stress (examples of effective techniques include yoga and Pilates, massage, breathing exercises and simply taking time out to relax)
  • eating well and getting enough sleep
  • talking through any anxieties or problems with your GP, an adviser from a charity or somebody close to you
  • seeing your GP if your symptoms are severe or they are starting to impact on your daily life

Medications: there are various types of medical treatment, which may be used to address common symptoms of the menopause, including:

  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT); this is designed to reduce symptoms by replacing declining levels of oestrogen and progesterone
  • tibolone: this is a synthetic alternative to HRT
  • clonidine: this high blood pressure medication can help to ease hot flushes and sweating
  • antidepressants: although antidepressants are predominantly prescribed to tackle signs of depression and low mood, they have also been proven to prevent hot flushes
  • lubricant: vaginal lubricants are used to prevent and treat vaginal dryness; this can help to prevent discomfort and reduce pain during sex

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