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Menopause

 3 middle age women of different ethnicities

3 Tips for Managing Menopause

Get Help
Many women suffer in silence because they are ashamed about their symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you are feeling. Find out if there are treatments that can help.
 
Ask Questions
Check the information you get online or from your friends. Talk to your healthcare provider about the treatment that is right for you. Ask about the risks and benefits of hormones, including “bio-identicals”. Also ask about the herbs or supplements you take. Use these common questions to get you started.
 
Avoid Scams
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be aware that natural doesn’t always mean safe. Also, remember that each woman is different. A product that worked for your friend may not be right for you.

 

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Hot flashes? Irregular periods? Mood changes?

Menopause can have a big impact on your daily life. Don’t go it alone! Use these tips and resources from FDA to help you talk to your healthcare provider about managing your symptoms before, during, and after menopause.

 

Before Menopause

Your period may start to change as your body moves into menopause. You may have irregular or heavier periods. Talk to your healthcare provider about any changes in your periods or bleeding.

  • Ask your health care provider when it is safe for you to stop using birth control.

  • Do not stop taking your birth control just because you have a positive result from a Menopause home test kit. It may still be possible for you to get pregnant.

 

Menopause

Menopause is the time in your life when your period stops for at least 12 months. During menopause, some women have problems like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and irritation, and thin bones. Talk to your healthcare provider if your menopause symptoms don’t go away or get worse.

Hormone Treatments

Some women choose to treat their symptoms with hormone medicines, sometimes called Menopause Hormone Therapy. Menopause Hormone Therapy is not for everyone. You should not take hormone therapy for menopause if:

  • you think you are pregnant,
  • you have problems with vaginal bleeding,
  • you have had certain kinds of cancers,
  • you have had a stroke or heart attack,
  • you have had blood clots,
  • you have liver disease.

In some women, Menopause Hormone Therapy may increase risks of serious side effects including blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gall bladder disease.

Menopause Hormone Therapy should always be used at the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest time that you need it. You can read these FDA materials to get information about menopause and hormone therapy. Then, talk to your healthcare provider about the treatment that is right for you. 

 

DID YOU KNOW? “Bio-identical” Hormones and Compounded “Bio-identical” Hormones

 

Some hormones for menopause are called “bio-identical” by their sellers because they claim they are identical to hormones made in a woman’s body. These hormones are made from plant estrogens and are said to be a natural form of Menopause Hormone Therapy with fewer risks. These products have not been approved by FDA.

  • FDA is concerned that claims like these may mislead women and healthcare professionals. These claims may give them a false sense of assurance about using potentially dangerous hormone products.

  • Be aware that natural doesn’t always mean safe.

Many “bio-identical” hormones are compounded in pharmacies. Compounding is generally a practice in which ingredients are combined, mixed, or altered to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient.

  • Don’t believe false claims that compounded “bio-identical” hormones are safer and more effective than FDA-approved Menopause Hormone Therapy drugs.

  • Compounded “bio-identical” Menopause Hormones are not FDA approved and may carry additional risks.

Learn more:

 

Non-Hormone Treatments

Some women use non-hormonal medicines for their menopause symptoms. FDA approved a non-hormonal treatment for moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause. FDA also approved a medicine to treat moderate to severe dyspareunia (pain with sexual activity) due to vaginal changes that occur with menopause.

Dietary Supplements, Herbs, and Other "Natural" Products - Things that Don't Require a Prescription

Other women may decide to use products marketed as dietary supplements or over-the-counter “natural” hormone creams to help them deal with their menopausal symptoms.   These products may also have health risks . Don’t get scammed by products making false claims about miracle cures for weight gain, hair loss, wrinkles or other problems that happen during or after menopause. Get the facts.

  • Check with your healthcare provider for information about using these products.

  • Learn more about dietary supplements.


 

After Menopause

Some women may continue to have symptoms like vaginal dryness. Others notice changes in their sex drive or develop bladder control problems. Talk to your healthcare provider about other medicines to help. 

  • Work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan to build and maintain a healthy life after menopause.

  • Be sure to learn about how to protect your heart and prevent bone loss as you get older.

  • Always tell your healthcare provider if you have any vaginal bleeding after menopause. This may be a sign of an urgent medical problem. 

 

Page Last Updated: 09/14/2017
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