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Managing Symptoms of Menopause
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Managing Symptoms of Menopause

Image for menopause article The following tips may be beneficial for these common symptoms of menopause.

Hot Flashes

  • Wear fabrics that breathe, such as cotton.
  • Dress in layers so you can easily remove some of the layers when you are warm.
  • If you feel a hot flash coming on, drink a glass of cold water.
  • If troubled by night sweats, keep a cold facecloth or ice pack by your bed.
  • Decrease your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid spicy foods and hot drinks.
  • Avoid tobacco.
  • The herb black cohosh is also widely used to treat hot flashes. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements.

Vaginal Dryness and Urinary Problems

  • Use a vaginal cream or lubricant (avoid petroleum jelly) to help reduce pain from dryness during sexual intercourse.
  • Urinate before and after sexual intercourse to help prevent bladder infections.
  • To help prevent urinary tract infections, drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently.
  • Try Kegel exercises daily. These exercises, which tighten and relax the muscles you use to stop urination, strengthen the vaginal muscles, enhance orgasm, and help prevent incontinence.

Psychological Problems

If you are feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed, the following suggestions may help you:

  • Communicate openly with your partner about your symptoms and ask for support.
  • Join or even start a support group specific to menopause or other life changes you are experiencing.
  • Find and share support with colleagues at work who are going through the same experience.
  • Seek counseling.
  • Identify which sources of stress you can eliminate from your life.

Weight Gain

  • Engage in an aerobic exercise. Talk with your doctor first about how long to exercise and how often.
  • Find ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Decrease your intake of fat and calories.

RESOURCES:

National Women's Health Resource Center
http://www.healthywomen.org

The North American Menopause Society
http://www.menopause.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index_e.html/

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/index.cfm/

References:

DynaMed Editors. Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated May 25, 2011. Accessed June 7, 2011.

Mayo Clinic Staff. Hot flashes. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hot-flashes/DS01143. Updated June 12, 2009. Accessed June 7, 2011.

Teoman N, Ozcan A, Acar B. The effect of exercise on physical fitness and quality of life in postmenopausal women. Maturitas. 2004 Jan 20;47(1):71-77.

1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Borrelli F, Ernst E. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): a systematic review of adverse events. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:455-466.

1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Kaszkin-Bettag M, Ventskovskiy BM, Solskyy S, et al. Confirmation of the efficacy of ERr 731 in perimenopausal women with menopausal symptoms. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15:24-34.



Last reviewed June 2011 by Brian Randall, MD


Last updated Updated: 6/7/2011

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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