Many times, patients do not require treatment for menopause, while other patients experience severe symptoms and need treatment. Treatment options can depend on the intensity of the patient’s symptoms, the patient’s overall health and the patient’s preferences for treatment.
Usually, treatments for menopause include hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes that reduce symptoms.
Hormone therapy is recommended when patients have severe hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. Doctors recommend estrogen and often progesterone supplements to restore the diminished hormones. While this is a good option for some, hormone therapy is associated with increased risks of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and stroke. Speak to a doctor at Florida Hospital to learn the risks and benefits of hormone therapy.
For other patients, home remedies or lifestyle changes may greatly reduce symptoms. These are some of the recommended changes that can reduce symptoms:
- Increase soy in the diet because soy contains estrogen
- Increase calcium and vitamin D in the diet
- Reduce caffeine, alcohol and spicy food intake
- Exercise regularly (speak to a doctor before beginning a routine)
- Do Kegal exercises to strengthen the muscles in the vagina
- Take slow, deep breaths during a hot flash
- Take yoga
- Dress in layers to easily cool yourself off
- Continue having sex with water-based lubricants if necessary
Other treatment options may include antidepressants, blood pressure medications and seizure drugs to reduce hot flashes.