Menopause occurs when there has been a change in a woman’s reproductive hormones and the ovaries are no longer able to release any eggs. You will know that menopause has taken place if you have had no periods for 12 months. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, the average being around 51. Some women have few or no menopausal symptoms, while others have bothersome symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. The most common symptoms are hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, decline in libido, sleep problems, irritability and depression.
- Improving your lifestyle: A healthy diet, regular exercise, reduce smoking, reduce caffeine intake, reduce alcohol intake and have adequate sleep and rest
- Vaginal dryness: using vaginal lubricant such as Replens or K-Y Gel. If they are ineffective, low-dose vaginal oestrogen preparations can be useful.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): HRT involves oestrogen and progestogen. It not only reduces symptoms but also enhances the quality of life of patients with severe or bothersome symptoms. It is safe, low risk, and effective. However, It is not recommended for women with a history of (or at high risk for) certain medical problems, including breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
- Non-hormonal treatment — Eat foods with phytoestrogens such as: soy, tofu, whole grains and legumes, however there is limited evidence for their effectiveness.