Menopause Treatment Options
Doctors are continuing to learn more about the human body every day so it’s important for you to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options so that you can make an informed decision.
In general though, treatment for menopause is centered on helping to prevent or alleviate symptoms. Menopause itself is inevitable and does not require direct medical treatment. Treatment options include:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – artificial estrogen and/or progesterone are used to supplement the body’s dropping hormone levels. Read more.
- Herbal Supplements – certain herbs and plants with estrogen like properties are used to supplement dropping hormone levels through a safe and all natural means. Read more.
- Antidepressants – in low doses, can help prevent and mitigate hot flashes by intercepting and rebalancing the neurotransmitters in the brain (epinephrine and serotonin) that signal the hot flash message to the body. In a Mayo Clinc study, Venlafaxine (Effexor) was shown to reduce hot flash incidence in women by 50% in 60% of women. Other drugs in the SSRI class that may be useful in treating hot flashes include Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Zoloft. Read more about depression.
- Blood Pressure medications such as Clonidine and Aldornet help lessen frequency and intensity of hot flashes by modifying how blood vessels react to the brain’s hot flash reaction. Rad more about hypertension.
- Mild Sedatives such as Bellergal-S helps prevent hot flashes by dampening down the overall chemical activity in the brain
- Progesterone like substances such as Megace have been shown to reduce hot flashes in 80% of women. Megace is a synthetic substance similar to progesterone that is often used to treat breast cancer.
- Vaginal Estrogen, in forms such as tablets, rings, and creams are often prescribed to relieve vaginal dryness. These are all topical estrogen treatments meant to deliver a small amount of estrogen locally to the area affected.
- Osteoporosis medications such as Fosamax (Alendronate), Actonel (Risedronate), and other Bisphosphonates are often prescribed to help prevent bone loss. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as Evista (Raloxifene) are effective at treating osteoporosis. Read more about osteoporosis.