3 Tips for Managing Menopause
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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.
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 healthcare 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 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.
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.
- Menopause & Hormones - Common Questions fact sheet (PDF, 2051 KB)
- Menopause: Medicines To Help You (easy-to-read booklet on FDA-approved Menopause Hormone Therapy drugs)
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.
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.
Menopause Resources for Your Outreach Activities
- Menopause and Hormones Card
- La menopausia y las hormonas tarjeta
- Order Free Women's Health Publications
Information from Other Government Agencies and Offices
- NIH Menopause Hormone Therapy Information
- Hormones and Menopause-National Institute on Aging
- Hormone Replacement Therapy - National Library of Medicine
- Menopause - National Women's Health Information Center