Perimenopause is a medical term which refers to the transition towards menopause, a point in which a woman can no longer conceive. This is because the ovaries are gradually losing making less estrogen during perimenopause. The good news is that there are various perimenopause treatment options available.
Your doctor needs to first perform some tests to see if there are any signs that you indeed entered this phase. But it’s not just one sign or test that is enough to confirm this. Your doctor also needs to consider your age, menstrual history, as well as symptoms or body changes that you’re going through.
One of the most popular, and effective options to consider is Hormone Replacement Therapy. One of the most popular menopause myths is that it’s not safe.
However, there is a proven track record with HRT. Check with your doctor, and keep on reading for all the details.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
There are a number of things that many women experience in their 40’s as they’re making the transition to Menopause. These include:
- Irregular periods
- Missed periods
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Weight gain
- Changes in menstrual cramps
- Reduce fertility
- Depression and anxiety
Let’s have a look at some of the best perimenopause treatment options available today.
Learn More about Perimenopause Treatment
Treatment of Perimenopausal Symptoms
There are a number of treatment options you may want to consider if you’re experiencing some symptoms related to perimenopause. We’ll get into the details below:
To treat vaginal dryness, estrogen has to be applied directly to the vagina by using a vaginal ring, tablet or cream. With this, a small amount of estrogen will be released and then absorbed into the vaginal tissue. Other than relieving one of vaginal dryness, it can also lower intercourse discomfort and certain urinary symptoms.
By far the most effective treatment for perimenopause and menopause night sweats and hot flashes is still systemic estrogen therapy, which can come in pills, creams, gels and skin patches. Your doctor may recommend the lowest dose of estrogen needed to provide your relief depending on your persona and family medical history.
Learn more about HRT here: Hormone Replacement Therapy During Perimenopause.
Apart from treating seizures, gabapentin can also reduce hot flashes. This treatment is quite useful for women who cannot use estrogen therapy due to health reasons and for those who have migraines.
Antidepressants that are linked to the category of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may help lower menopausal hot flashes. This is especially useful for those women who are unable to take estrogen for health reasons or those who need antidepressants to treat mood disorder.
Check with your doctor
However, before you decide to opt for these treatments, you should discuss it with your doctor so they can share each of their benefits and risks with you. Take the time to review your options on a yearly basis, as both your needs and treatment options may vary.
Treatment for Perimenopause: Lifestyle And Home Remedies
These following healthy lifestyle solutions might be able to ease some of the symptoms of perimenopause as well as promote good health as you age. It’s perimenopause treatment, the natural way!
Eating a healthy diet is very crucial due to the increasing chances of getting osteoporosis and heart disease during perimenopause. You should adopt a high-fiber and low-fat diet plan that is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
You can also choose calcium-rich foods and consult your doctor if you can take a calcium supplement. During this time, you have to avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can trigger hot flashes.
Reduce Vaginal Discomfort
Over-the-counter, water-based vaginal lubricants such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly, or moisturizers like Vagisil or Replens can lessen vaginal discomfort. Don’t go for products that contain glycerin as they can cause irritation or burning in women who are very sensitive to it. Increasing blood flow to the vagina by staying sexually active also helps.
Get Sufficient Amount of Sleep
Maintain a constant sleep schedule. Keep away from caffeine and alcohol as they make it very hard for you to sleep.
Physical activity and regular exercise keeps you fit, improves your mood and help you sleep better. Try to exercise about 30 minutes or perhaps more most of the week, except before bedtime. Regular exercise has proven to reduce hip fracture risk in older women and improve bone intensity.
Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga and meditation on a regular basis so it promotes good health and relaxation for the remainder of your life. They can also be quite helpful when during your transition to menopause.
Lifestyle Changes and Perimenopausal Treatment
Alternative Medicine for Perimenopause Symptoms
Besides traditional therapies, many perimenopausal women wish to know more about modern and alternative medicines to reduce symptoms of their menopause transition. And although researchers are all over these therapies to determine their effectiveness and safety, the evidence is still insufficient.
Some of these alternative medicines include:
These are estrogens which occur naturally in some foods. The two main types of phytoestrogens include lignans and isoflavones. Lignans are found in whole grains, flaxseed, and in some fruits and vegetables. Isoflavones occur in chickpeas, soybeans, and other legumes. There are some plant-derived compounds that have estrogen-like properties.
This herb extract can be used to treat hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, although there isn’t enough evidence to support its use. Even experts are unsure of the risks that this herb extract poses.
Previously, some studies revealed that black cohosh can harm the liver, but more recent studies could not back up this claim. Researchers even worry whether black cohosh is either harmful or safe for women with breast cancer.
Learn more here: Supplements to Consider for Perimenopause.
This is a natural steroid which is produced in your adrenal gland, is available as a dietary supplement and can improve sexual interest. However, evidence regarding its effectiveness are mixed and there are some concerns about the possible harmful effects that are linked to it.
The hormones in this product are identical to the ones that your body produces. The only problem is that the compounded bioidentical hormones aren’t approved by the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so there could be risks involved. There is also no evidence that suggests that compounded bioidentical hormones are safer or even more effective than convention hormone therapy.
Consider Relaxation Techniques
Other modern, low-risk therapies such as yoga, acupuncture and paced breathing can help improve psychological well-being and reduce stress. Even though studies on acupuncture lowering hot flashes is inconclusive, it is quite promising. Relaxation can decrease stress and also improve menopausal symptoms.
It is wise to talk to your doctor about taking herbal or dietary supplements as the FDA does not regulate herbal products and some of them can be dangerous by interacting with other medicines that you take.
Natural Treatments for Perimenopause
Prepare for Your Appointment to Discuss Perimenopause Treatment
Start discussing your symptoms of perimenopause with your primary healthcare expert. They’ll be able to let you know the best perimenopause treatment options for your particular circumstance.
If you aren’t seeing a gynaecologist already, then maybe your healthcare expert can refer one to you.
What Age Does Menopause Occur?
A common question that people have is at what age menopause occurs. In North America, the average age is 51, but it can vary based on a number of factors. However by far the most important one is at what age your doctor went trough it.
There are a small percentage of people who go through menopause in their 30’s, 40’s or in rare cases, 20’s. Learn more here: Early Menopause.
Perimenopause Treatment: Have your Say
What’s your experience with Perimenopause Treatment Options? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Tammy Ford is the resident expert for all things Women’s Health (vaginal discharge and infections, perimenopause, menstrual cycles and more) and is also a chief tester of all things eco-friendly period products. She has a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and specializes in reproductive health.
You can contact her via email: [email protected]