Lifestyle and home remedies
Fortunately, many of the signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. Take these steps to help reduce or prevent their effects:
- Cool hot flashes. Dress in layers, have a cold glass of water or go somewhere cooler. Try to pinpoint what triggers your hot flashes. For many women, triggers may include hot beverages, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, stress, hot weather and even a warm room.
- Decrease vaginal discomfort. Use over-the-counter, water-based vaginal lubricants (Astroglide, K-Y jelly, others), silicone-based lubricants or moisturizers (Replens, others). Choose products that don't contain glycerin, which can cause burning or irritation in women who are sensitive to that chemical. Staying sexually active also helps by increasing blood flow to the vagina.
- Get enough sleep. Avoid caffeine, which can make it hard to get to sleep, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can interrupt sleep. Exercise during the day, although not right before bedtime. If hot flashes disturb your sleep, you may need to find a way to manage them before you can get adequate rest.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Techniques such as deep breathing, paced breathing, guided imagery, massage and progressive muscle relaxation may help with menopausal symptoms. You can find a number of books, CDs and online offerings on different relaxation exercises.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises, can improve some forms of urinary incontinence.
- Eat a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit saturated fats, oils and sugars. Ask your provider if you need calcium or vitamin D supplements to help meet daily requirements.
- Don't smoke. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer and a range of other health problems. It may also increase hot flashes and bring on earlier menopause.
- Exercise regularly. Get regular physical activity or exercise on most days to help protect against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging.
Aug. 07, 2017
- Menopause. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Casper RF, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of menopause. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Longo DL, et al., eds. Menopause and postmenopausal hormone therapy. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Nelson LM, et al. Clinical manifestation and evaluation of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Menopausal symptoms and complementary health practices. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Santen RJ, et al. Menopausal hot flashes. https://www.uptodate.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Martin KA, et al. Menopausal hormone therapy: Benefits and risks. https://www.uptodate.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Yoga, Kegel exercises, pelvic floor physical therapy. The North American Menopause Society. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/yoga-kegel-exercises-pelvic-floor-physical-therapy. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- North American Menopause Society. The 2017 hormone therapy position statement of: The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2017;24:1.
- MenoNote: Vaginal dryness. The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/publications/consumer-publications/-i-menonotes-i-. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Welt CK, et al. Pathogenesis and causes of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Welt CK, et al. Ovarian development and failure (menopause) in normal women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Frequently asked questions. Women's health FAQ047. The Menopause Years. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/The-Menopause-Years. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- North American Menopause Society. Nonhormonal management of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms: 2015 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2015; 22:1155.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 141: Management of Menopausal Symptoms. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014;123:202.
- Rosen HR, et al. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and evaluation of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
- Menopause. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed April 27, 2017.
- Dodin S, et al. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007410.pub2/abstract. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 9, 2017.
- Bachmann G, et al. Treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 10, 2017.
- Home use tests: Menopause. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm125824.htm. Accessed July 18, 2017.