This is a normal part of aging. It is most common in women who are 40-58 years of age.
When it happens early, risk factors are:
- Cancer treatments
- Surgery to remove the uterus or ovaries
- Contact with arsenic
- Use of oral birth control
- Low body fat
- Having a mother who was given diethylstilbestrol (DES) when pregnant
Menopause is a normal part of life. It doesn't need treatment.
Hormone changes can cause symptoms. Certain treatments and lifestyle changes can help to manage:
- Symptoms that can occur during transition
- Your risk of heart disease or osteoporosis
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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT can be used for a short time. Here are some options:
- A blend of estrogen and progesterone
- Low amounts of male hormones
HRT can be taken as tablets, gels, skin patches, vaginal rings or tablets, injections, and pellets placed in the skin.
HRT can raise the risk problems like cancer, heart disease, and blood clots. Talk to your doctor about whether the benefits are greater than the risks.
HRT is not a good choice for some women. Here are other options:
- Certain blood pressure medicines
- Antidepressant medicines
- Antiseizure medicines
A healthful diet may reduce some of your symptoms. It can help you feel better. It can also lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. You should eat:
- Plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Low amounts of saturated fats (found in animal products), trans fats, processed foods, and sugars
- Lean protein options such as chicken, fish, eggs, or nuts
You should also have calcium and vitamin D for healthy bones. Milk and yogurt are high in calcium. Fish is high in vitamin D. Ask your doctor if supplements are needed. Sunlight also raises vitamin D in the body.
Try not to eat spicy or hot foods or drinks. They can make hot flashes worse.
Exercise may lower symptoms, manage weight, and lower stress. Weight-bearing exercises like walking and strength exercises may also help keep bones healthy. A mix of both works best.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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All rights reserved.
Office on Women's Health https://www.womenshealth.gov
The North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Women's Health Matters—Women's College Hospital http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
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