What To Do To Those Common Symptoms of Menopause

Amy Scholten, M.P.H

The following tips may be beneficial for these common symptoms of menopause:

Hot Flashes

  • Wear fabrics that breathe, such as cotton. Do not wear silk, polyester and other synthetics that tend to trap body heat.
  • 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.
  • Instead of pantyhose, wear cotton pants or thigh high stockings.
  • Decrease your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid spicy foods and hot drinks.
  • Avoid tobacco.
  • Try eating and drinking more soy products.
  • Some women claim that taking vitamin E daily helps.

Vaginal Dryness/Urinary Problems

(urinary tract infections, incontinence)

  • 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.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently.
  • Try Kegel exercises (tighten and relax the muscles you use to stop urination) daily. They strengthen the vaginal muscles, enhance orgasm, and help prevent incontinence.

Psychological Problems

(anxiety, irritability, depression)

  • 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 thing.
  • Seek counseling.
  • Medication such as tranquilizers and antidepressants may help.
  • Identify which sources of stress you can eliminate from your life.

Forgetfulness

  • Write things down.
  • Use appointment books, calendars, post-it notes, alarm clocks and timers.
  • Ask other people for reminders.

Weight Gain

  • Engage in an aerobic exercise at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes per session.
  • 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.

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