Frequent Side Effects of Menopause and How to Cope

Jun 17 • 2015

Menopause occurs when a woman has an absence of a menstrual period for 12 months. During this time, the function of the ovaries terminates. This process is gradual and often begins around the age of 50. Women experience a wide variety of side effects during menopause, many of which can cause frustration. Knowing how to deal with the side effects can help you feel more comfortable both physically and emotionally.

Below are some of the most common side effects and how to cope with them:

Hot Flashes
This is one of the most recognized symptoms of menopause and can be a struggle to cope with. The first step is to determine what triggers your hot flashes so you can try to avoid those things. Keep a fan around in your office or home so you can cool down when necessary and dress in layers so you can remove some of your clothing. Take slow, deep breaths when you notice a hot flash is beginning. In terms of treatment, one of the most popular options is menopausal hormone therapy, or MHT. Speak with your doctor about the benefits and risks of this option.

Difficulty Sleeping
Increasing the amount of physical activity in your day is a great way to make sure you are more tired when it comes time for bed. Avoid smoking, eating a large meal, or working right before you try to go to sleep. Skip caffeine after noon and alcohol before bed – instead, drink something warm. Create a relaxing sleep environment by making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature. If you find yourself waking up throughout the night, find something that relaxes you to help to fall back to sleep.

Getting enough sleep and staying active will help improve your mood, but it is also important to find ways to reduce stress. Try finding a support group in your area, speaking to a therapist, or seek help from family and friends if you feel like you are becoming depressed.

Vaginal Dryness
This symptom can be particularly uncomfortable, but can be addressed with a water-based vaginal lubricant that you can easily get over the counter. Use it per instructed to keep the necessary moisture present.

If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms without relief, speak with your doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan for your needs.