There are many things you can do to help ease the symptoms of menopause, such as:
- avoiding caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods to help reduce hot flushes
- getting regular exercise, as this will help with feelings of low mood
- using water-based lubricants during intercourse, as this can help with symptoms of vaginal dryness
- reducing stress where possible.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) tibolone (a synthetic hormone). These are medicines that help ease symptoms of menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy
HRT is the most common treatment for menopause symptoms. It reduces the symptoms of menopause by replacing oestrogen, which is normally produced by the ovaries. It can be used before, during and after menopause.
HRT generally helps ease the hot flushes and night sweats. It also may help prevent certain conditions such as colon cancer, macular degeneration and osteoporosis, but this will depend on the type of HRT you are prescribed. The protective effects wear off after you stop using HRT.
On the other hand, HRT may be linked with a slight increase in the risks of some medical conditions, such as:
- ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer
- breast cancer
- coronary heart disease
- venous thromboembolism.
The risks depend on your age and how long you take the HRT. It is important to discuss the risks versus the benefits with your doctor.
If you decide to use HRT, you should take the lowest effective dose for only as long as required for your symptoms. Have regular reviews with your doctor and regularly review your reasons to continue (or not) with your doctor
Read more about HRT.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about the menopause, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: September 2017