Menopause is the process through which a woman ceases to be fertile or menstruate. It is a normal part of life and is not considered a disease or a condition.
During menopause, women can pursue a number of treatments to maintain comfort.
Most women do not seek medical advice during this time, and many women require no treatment. However, a woman should visit a doctor if symptoms are affecting her quality of life.
Women should choose the type of therapy dependent on their menopausal symptoms, medical history, and personal preferences.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Women can keep the symptoms of menopause at bay by supplementing their estrogen and progestin levels.
Hormone replacement therapy can be received through a simple patch on the skin. This patch releases estrogen and progestin. HRT is highly effective for many of the symptoms that occur during menopause.
There are other medicines available to help reduce the effects of menopause.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to decrease menopausal hot flashes. Drugs include:
- venlafaxine (Effexor)
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
- paroxetine (Paxil, others)
- citalopram (Celexa)
Drug treatment for hot flashes
Hot flashes can be treated using gabapentin, available under the brand name Neurontin, and clonidine, which is often sold as Catapres.
Clonidine can be taken either orally as a pill or placed on the skin as a patch. It is effective in treating hot flashes, but unpleasant side effects are common, including constipation, dry eyes, and nightmares.
Treatments for osteoporosis include dietary supplements and drug therapy.
Drug treatments for vaginal symptoms
Vaginal estrogen may be applied to the area as a tablet, ring, or cream. This medication effectively treats vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, and some urinary problems.
Moisturisers are available over-the-counter.