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What are the Different Kinds of Menopause Remedies?

By L. Burgoon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Menopause is a biological process in women that marks the end of menstruation and a woman’s fertility; it typically is signified by the absence of periods for 12 consecutive months. The menopause process causes a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue. Memory loss, vaginal dryness and low sex drive also are common. Some women are able to find relief using natural menopause remedies, such as various soothing herbs, yoga and consuming soy products, such as tofu. More typical menopause remedies involve medication and lifestyle changes. Doctors commonly prescribe hormone replacement medications such as estrogen and progesterone as well as mood-elevating anti-depressants. Women may also find relief from menopause symptoms through exercise and diet changes.

Many women choose natural or homeopathic menopause remedies, although medical studies are inconclusive on the effectiveness of these remedies. One of the most common complaints of menopause, hot flashes, may be treated with red clover, black cohosh or vitamin E supplements. Black cohosh and St. John’s wort may also help relieve mild depression and mood swings that can accompany menopause and perimenopause. Ginseng is commonly used to ease memory loss, insomnia and increase libido during menopause as well. Women should always report use of herbal remedies to their doctor, as some herbs may decrease the efficacy of other drugs.

Some women find relief from symptoms of menopause in acupuncture and yoga. Acupuncture has been used to treat both the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. Treatments are typically geared toward individual symptoms instead of treating menopause as a singular condition. Similarly, there is no specific yoga routine for menopause, but proponents believe that different poses can alleviate individual menopause symptoms.

Soy is another natural way to ease menopause symptoms without taking herbal remedies. Soy products are high in phytoestrogens, which have weak estrogen-like effects on the body and therefore may help compensate for declining estrogen levels. Soy products may help relieve hot flashes and insomnia in menopausal and perimenopausal women.

When symptoms become too severe or disruptive, medical menopause remedies may be necessary. Prescription estrogen and progesterone are hormone replacement therapies (HRT) used as menopause treatments. HRT help replace dropping levels of estrogen and progesterone, and may help relieve hot flashes and vaginal dryness in menopausal and perimenopausal women. These menopause remedies are controversial, however, amid studies that link HRT with increased risk of stroke and breast cancer.

Other medical menopause remedies use drugs normally prescribed for other purposes to offset menopause symptoms. For example, mild anti-depressants can help alleviate mood swings, fatigue and memory loss. To combat hot flashes, doctors often prescribe such medications as clonidine, a blood pressure medication; megestrol acetate, often prescribed to breast cancer patients; and gabapentin, a medication normally prescribed for seizures.

Lifestyle changes also may act as effective menopause remedies. Increased exercise can often help improve fatigue and regulate mood. Avoiding spicy foods and dressing in light layers can ward off hot flashes as well. Abstaining from caffeine and alcohol before bed can ease insomnia, and using a lubricant and remaining sexually active can help thwart vaginal dryness.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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