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Some women may choose to try hormone therapy if they find that hot flashes or night sweats become disruptive to their lives. Hormone therapy has risks as well as benefits, so should be thoroughly discussed with your health care provider.
If hormone therapy is not right for you, there are prescription medications, herbal remedies and lifestyle changes that can alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life during the menopausal transition.
We can provide you with up-to-date, research-based information on the risks and benefits of all therapies. We strive to make sure our patients are informed and active participants in their health care choices.
According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), most healthy women in the early menopausal years can safely use hormone therapy for symptom relief. Hormone therapy is a very effective treatment for symptoms such as hot flashes. Estrogens also have other beneficial effects, such as lessening bone loss and improving sleep patterns.
The loss of estrogen during menopause can cause changes in the vaginal and vulvar skin, resulting in dryness, burning and discomfort with intercourse. One effective therapy is topical treatment with a low dose estrogen product, which works well to rejuvenate tissue. We can also discuss other non-hormonal products to improve lubrication and relieve discomfort.
Although hormone replacement therapy has many benefits, we realize that there are women who do not wish to use hormonal products, as well as women who cannot use these products. There are many non-hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms. We are happy to discuss various options with you and help you decide which are best for you.
"Working for almost 30 years in women’s health has given me the opportunity to care for women through various transitions of life. At this time, as I myself navigate the menopausal years and read through the enormous amount of seemingly contradictory literature, I appreciate the need to provide accurate information, science-based treatments and personalized options to address the menopausal concerns of patients."
Mary Catherine DeRosa, MD
Director, Menopause Consultation Program
Lifestyle changes involving diet and activity level can help manage menopause symptoms and ensure better health after the menopausal transition. Dietary changes could include reducing or limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, increasing soy foods (which contain estrogen), and ensuring you get adequate calcium and vitamin D.
Incorporating exercise into your daily schedule helps with heart health, muscle and bone health, and stress reduction. Resistance exercises help strengthen your bones and improve your balance.
Mindfulness-based techniques such as yoga and meditation help greatly with mood and sense of well-being. Yoga has also been shown to relieve hot flashes.
To maintain good health and minimize age-related conditions, you should also take care to control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight. If you smoke, you should quit.