21154 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Managing Symptoms of Menopause

    Image for menopause article The following tips may be beneficial for these common symptoms of menopause .

    Hot Flashes

    • Wear fabrics that breathe, such as cotton.
    • Dress in layers so you can easily remove some of the layers when you are warm.
    • If you feel a hot flash coming on, drink a glass of cold water.
    • If troubled by night sweats, keep a cold facecloth or ice pack by your bed.
    • Decrease your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
    • Avoid spicy foods and hot drinks.
    • Avoid tobacco.
    • The herb black cohosh is also widely used to treat hot flashes. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements.

    Vaginal Dryness and Urinary Problems

    • Use a vaginal cream or lubricant (avoid petroleum jelly) to help reduce pain from dryness during sexual intercourse.
    • Urinate before and after sexual intercourse to help prevent bladder infections.
    • To help prevent urinary tract infections , drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently.
    • Try Kegel exercises daily. These exercises, which tighten and relax the muscles you use to stop urination, strengthen the vaginal muscles, enhance orgasm, and help prevent incontinence .

    Psychological Problems

    If you are feeling anxious , irritable, or depressed , the following suggestions may help you:
    • Communicate openly with your partner about your symptoms and ask for support.
    • Join or even start a support group specific to menopause or other life changes you are experiencing.
    • Find and share support with colleagues at work who are going through the same experience.
    • Seek counseling .
    • Identify which sources of stress you can eliminate from your life.

    Weight Gain

    • Engage in an aerobic exercise . Talk with your doctor first about how long to exercise and how often.
    • Find ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Decrease your intake of fat and calories.

    RESOURCES

    National Women's Health Resource Center http://www.healthywomen.org

    The North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/

    Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/

    References

    DynaMed Editors. Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated May 25, 2011. Accessed June 7, 2011.

    Mayo Clinic Staff. Hot flashes. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hot-flashes/DS01143 . Updated June 12, 2009. Accessed June 7, 2011.

    Teoman N, Ozcan A, Acar B. The effect of exercise on physical fitness and quality of life in postmenopausal women. Maturitas . 2004 Jan 20;47(1):71-77.

    1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Borrelli F, Ernst E. Black cohosh ( Cimicifuga racemosa ): a systematic review of adverse events. Am J Obstet Gynecol . 2008;199:455-466.

    1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Kaszkin-Bettag M, Ventskovskiy BM, Solskyy S, et al. Confirmation of the efficacy of ERr 731 in perimenopausal women with menopausal symptoms. Altern Ther Health Med . 2009;15:24-34.

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