We are at the last post of this series. Post 4 of 4.
If you haven’t read the first post on the subject, here is the link: Perimenopause vs Menopause. Confused? Let’s Hack That.
In post 2 of this series, we talked more about the symptoms. In post 3 answered questions about when to call your doctor. In post 4, this last post of the series, we cover your options on treatments for symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. YES!
Do you need treatment?
Both perimenopause and menopause are natural stages in a woman’s life. You don’t need treatment unless the symptoms are bothering you to the point of affecting your daily life. Treatment can help. Options are lifestyle changes, over-the-counter options, or, for severe symptoms, prescriptive medicine.
Lifestyle changes can also be used to alleviate your symptoms. Simple things you can do at home. For example, regular exercise helps to improve your mood, help with weight gain issues, and even (believe it or not) relieve your hot flashes. I speak from experience. I do a regular stretching/toning exercise and it has done wonders for me. It has also helped a lot with sleep.
Exercising daily can be as simple as 25-min of stretching, dancing or walking. Whatever works for you and fits in your daily life. Something you will look forward to daily is something you will stick too.
Eating a nutritious, heart-healthy diet can help reduce the symptoms, and lower your risk any other long-term problems related to aging. Including adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Learn more about the perimenopause diet.
Tips for a better sleep
Getting enough restful sleep is super important and nearly impossible with all those hormonal changes. I get it, trust me. Here are things I have tried and that have worked for me:
- Relaxing with a good book before bed. (my ritual, it now cues my body for sleep)
- Doing gentle stretching, or breathing exercises.
- Warm 10–20 min bath. Add Epson salt for detoxing (optional)
- Got to bed / wake up, at the same time daily
- Tips for hot flashes/flushes
- Avoid large meals.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Limit caffeine to small quantities (and only in the morning).
- Limit stress. Ironically… Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Tips for severe symptoms
Visit your doctor and ask about your options for prescription medicines. Please talk to your doctor about any possible risks or side effects. Some options are:
- Low-dose birth control pills before menopause.
- Low-dose hormone therapy (HT) after menopause.
- Clonidine (Catapres) usually used to treat high blood pressure.
NOTE: Please remember that it is still possible to become pregnant until you have reached menopause. You have reached menopause when you have gone a full 12 months without any bleeding or spotting.
Perimenopause and menopause treatments
Perimenopause may not need to be treated at all. But when needed, it can be treated with prescription hormone, typically “hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This can be offered via pills, as a cream, or even as a skin patch. Again, talk to your doctor about the possible risks. Do not take any treatment lightly. Your health matters and treatments, although they relieve your symptoms, can have possible risk and/or side effects.
Prescription relief can also be given for menopausal symptoms, normalizing the estrogen levels in your body. As mentioned in previous posts, at these stages in your life, estrogen levels have sudden drops and sudden spikes, causing these not so pleasant symptoms.
Over-the-counter options (non-prescription):
- Over-the-counter estrogen therapy: creams, gels, oral pills, skin patches
- Antidepressants pills to relieve mood swings, downs and anxiety
- Migraine medication
- Vaginal creams/gels
End of the series.
Thank you for following me on this journey. Going through all my notes, adding more notes, then putting it all together in what started as a short post, turned 4 part series… was a wonderful journey for me.
I got to share with you the ups and downs of this, at times frustrating and even detrimental, yet natural stages in a woman’s life. I know I am not going crazy and I know I am not alone. I hope you know this also. You may at times feel like you are loosing your mind, loosing control of your life, and feel utterly alone and misunderstood.
You are not crazy. You are not alone. You are woman!
I would love to hear how this experience is for you. Sharing helps us feel like we are not alone. Others are living the same experiences and would love to hear from you. You matter.
Yours in health, happiness and success,