Going through menopause is, in more ways than one, life-changing. At times, it may feel like your body is different, or even like it is betraying you in some ways. Various treatments from your doctor can make it easier to deal with this and the physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings. People often talk about menopause treatment and hormone replacement as though they are one and the same, but the fact is, there are several hormone-based and non-hormone-based treatments to consider for menopause.
Vaginal Estrogen Creams
For some women, the most bothersome symptoms of menopause are vaginal. You may experience dryness that makes this area uncomfortable. Some women also experience pain and discomfort during sexual activity once menopause begins. For these symptoms, a doctor can often prescribe a vaginal estrogen cream. Applied once or twice a day, it can alleviate dryness and irritation, usually with fewer side effects than an oral estrogen pill.
If you have a lot of systemic symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings, then your doctor might recommend that you take estrogen pills during menopause. This can raise the circulating levels of estrogen in your body just enough to help prevent and minimize these symptoms. Estrogen pills can also help with sexual symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and loss of libido.
If hot flashes are a real problem for you, but you don't have a lot of other symptoms or cannot tolerate estrogen, your doctor may recommend a medication called clonidine. This is a mild blood pressure medication which, at low doses, can lower your blood pressure just enough to prevent hot flashes and night sweats.
Women often find that taking a low dose of an antidepressant can help a lot during menopause. It can help combat mood swings and irritability, and it can also fight the depression women often experience around this time. Some women only need to stay on it for a few months in order to get symptoms under control. Others benefit from staying on it throughout the whole menopause process. It can be helpful to try a few different antidepressants and see which one your body responds to the best.
Talk to your doctor about these menopause treatments. While nearly every woman has to go through this, there is no reason to suffer since there are medical treatments to help. For more menopause care options, reach out to a local clinic.